Surveyed Medicare retirees say reimbursement process working better
By Bobbie O’Neil, Ohio Public Employees Retirement System
Aug. 7, 2018 – Over the past several weeks you may have attended or heard about OPERS delivering new education to Medicare retirees on how to use their Health Reimbursement Arrangement. The HRA is an account funded by OPERS that provides tax-free reimbursement for qualified medical expenses.
The monthly HRA allowance deposits can accumulate from month to month and, unlike most flexible spending accounts, the balance will roll over from year to year. Via Benefits (formerly OneExchange) administers the HRA.
I want to thank the retirees who shared their HRA frustrations with us and let you know that clearing up these frustrations is a priority to us at OPERS. Working together we have successfully created and implemented education to help retirees who are enrolled in a plan through the Connector better understand and manage their Health Reimbursement Arrangement. Topics include explanation of reimbursement types, what forms to use for different expenses, information for spouses and caregivers as well as common questions from retirees.
One of our largest goals is to provide retirees with the information they need to continue to be secure in their retirement. To identify if we were meeting this goal we surveyed members who attended these HRA events, and I am excited to share the results with you; I have provided the questions and responses:
- Main reason participants have not been using their HRA: 70 percent don’t know how; 22 percent say it’s overwhelming; 8 percent say they’re saving it in case they need surgery.
- Level of understanding prior to the event: 5.26 out of 10
- Level of understanding after the event: 7.88 out of 10
- Likelihood of submitting a claim for reimbursement after the event: 83 percent say it’s very likely.
- Have someone who can assist them with their HRA: 62 percent say yes.
We continue to be committed to our vision in being your trusted retirement partner delivering high quality service every time, all the time.