HRA process explained

Reimbursements sometimes carry over to future months

By Michael Pramik, Ohio Public Employees Retirement System

April 28, 2022 – OPERS occasionally receives questions from retirees who are attempting to reconcile each HRA reimbursement request and becoming concerned when some expenses are paid and others are placed on hold. Here’s how that process works.

OPERS deposits a pre-determined amount into your HRA each month. Reimbursements will be made as described below, so there is no need to be concerned if a request is placed on hold. Via Benefits will always notify you if an expense is denied.

If you submit reimbursement requests totaling less than the balance in your OPERS HRA, Via Benefits will reimburse the submitted expenses, and the remaining balance will be carried over to be used for expenses the following month.

If you submit reimbursement requests that total more than the balance in your OPERS HRA, Via Benefits will reimburse expenses that can be fully paid by your HRA balance. The remaining amount(s) will be placed on hold and paid once OPERS has made additional deposits and your HRA balance is sufficient.

We should add that reimbursement for OPERS vision and dental plan premiums are made automatically. OPERS deducts the monthly premiums from your benefit payment and then submits the premiums to Via Benefits for reimbursement. You receive a monthly reimbursement deposit in your bank account without needing to submit any additional forms or receipts.

Michael Pramik

Michael Pramik is communication strategist for the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System and editor of the PERSpective blog. As an experienced business journalist, he clarifies complex pension policies and helps members make smart choices to secure their retirement.

Michael Pramik

Communication Strategist

10 thoughts on “HRA process explained

  • April 28, 2022 at 10:13 am
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    can HRA funds be used for Not in Market dental appointments?

    Reply
    • May 3, 2022 at 9:28 am
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      Dawn,

      You will need to refer your questions regarding what you can be reimbursed for through your HRA to Via Benefits at 1-833-939-1215.

      Thanks,

      OPERS

      Reply
  • April 28, 2022 at 8:19 pm
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    Is there something that can be done to make VIA benefits reimburse the OPERS vision and dental premiums faster? I only receive the reimbursement in my bank acct on the 7th of each month and yet VIA benefits has no problem deducting their admin fee on the 1st of each month.

    Is there anything in OPERS’ contract with VIA benefits that addresses the timeliness of reimbursements?

    Reply
    • May 3, 2022 at 9:32 am
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      Mariann,

      No, OPERS sends a file to Via Benefits the 1st business day of each month with those who have opted in to the automatic reimbursement. This is the reason for why the reimbursement is after the 1st of each month.

      Thanks,

      OPERS

      Reply
  • April 29, 2022 at 8:28 pm
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    I’m getting calls from VIA regarding the amount of money, based on my years of services, I could have Deposited into a new HSA account. I am not covered under OPERS for health insurance. Would I still be eligible to receive a new HSA account which OPERS deposit money monthly?

    Reply
    • May 3, 2022 at 9:26 am
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      I would suggest either calling our office at 800-222-7377 or sending your questions through the Message Center on your OPERS online account which can be accessed at opers.org.

      Thanks,

      OPERS

      Reply
  • April 30, 2022 at 11:31 am
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    How do I find my HRA balance? See monthly deposit but not balance?
    Thanks!

    Reply
    • May 3, 2022 at 9:23 am
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      You will need to login to your Via Benefits online account to view your balance in the HRA.

      Thanks,

      OPERS

      Reply
  • May 9, 2022 at 8:41 pm
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    Hello Michael,

    I’m having (what’s becoming CONTINUOUS) problems with Via Benefits’ processing of claims. The latest involves three claims they will not approve because they say the uploaded documents are “not readable”. When I called on these, their customer care rep opened the documents and could read them perfectly, as could I. Then, just to get someone to look at them, I had to have Via Benefits “open a case” on each claim. This is VERY FRUSTRATING, and it’s getting to the point that it seems Via Benefits is intentionally causing problems to frustrate members from using/obtaining their funds!!

    Is there anyone at OPERS who can act as an ombudsman on behalf of retirees?

    Reply
    • May 10, 2022 at 1:00 pm
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      Dave, Please call our office to speak with a representative at 1-800-222-7377 or you may send a message through the Message Center on your OPERS online account which can be accessed at http://www.opers.org Thank you, OPERS

      Reply

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