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HSA vs. HRA HELP!

Electronics Man

Electronics Team Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2011
Messages
335
I don't quite get it, which is the better of the two? I am looking in my packet here, and from what I see is that HSA takes less from your paycheck, but has a REALLY high deductable, which I don't know how they expect TM's to pay. The HRA takes MORE from your paycheck, but has a MUCH more managable deductable. Target contributes 50 dollars more to the HSA than the HRA.

This is the first time I am eligable for benefits, and I am leaning towards HRA because of the lower deductable, but is one really better than the other?
 

Formina Sage

Probably still better than you at the stacker
Staff member
Administrator
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May 15, 2011
Messages
1,795
The idea is that someone who frequently receives medical care would pick the HRA because each time they visit the doctor/hospital or whatever, they'd pay less out-of-pocket. Someone who only goes to the doctor once or twice a year might be able to afford paying more out-of-pocket, so they'd pick the HSA in order to get less cut out of their paycheck.
 

nib

Joined
Jan 31, 2012
Messages
461
I'd be glad to help you with this, very simple difference. HRA is where your employer gives you say 300$ and once you have spent all of that money, you have an out of pocket deductible you must satisfy before the plan will cover any more medical expenses. Usually that number is bigger than the amount you were given. Once you have paid that amount out of your pocket, then the employer starts paying 80% you 20%. Whereas with the HSA plan, that's where you aren't given any money to use towards medical expenses, you simply have a very large out of pocket deductible you must satisfy before you will get any coverage. The only thing both plans provide free of charge is yearly annual physical exams. HSA won't even given you copays for your prescriptions whereas HRA does. HRA is almost always the better way to go.
I don't quite get it, which is the better of the two? I am looking in my packet here, and from what I see is that HSA takes less from your paycheck, but has a REALLY high deductable, which I don't know how they expect TM's to pay. The HRA takes MORE from your paycheck, but has a MUCH more managable deductable. Target contributes 50 dollars more to the HSA than the HRA.

This is the first time I am eligable for benefits, and I am leaning towards HRA because of the lower deductable, but is one really better than the other?
 

nib

Joined
Jan 31, 2012
Messages
461
Because of all the drastic cuts in coverage this year, it's a good idea to also sign up for an FSA = Flexible Spending Account - which is pre-tax dollars taken out of your paycheck to cover medical, dental, vision, prescriptions costs with income that can't be taxed.
I'd be glad to help you with this, very simple difference. HRA is where your employer gives you say 300$ and once you have spent all of that money, you have an out of pocket deductible you must satisfy before the plan will cover any more medical expenses. Usually that number is bigger than the amount you were given. Once you have paid that amount out of your pocket, then the employer starts paying 80% you 20%. Whereas with the HSA plan, that's where you aren't given any money to use towards medical expenses, you simply have a very large out of pocket deductible you must satisfy before you will get any coverage. The only thing both plans provide free of charge is yearly annual physical exams. HSA won't even given you copays for your prescriptions whereas HRA does. HRA is almost always the better way to go.
 

nib

Joined
Jan 31, 2012
Messages
461
Usually there is "Silent" Enrollment until April 1st each year, but sometimes it requires a supervisor approval to enroll outside of the allotted window.
I'd be glad to help you with this, very simple difference. HRA is where your employer gives you say 300$ and once you have spent all of that money, you have an out of pocket deductible you must satisfy before the plan will cover any more medical expenses. Usually that number is bigger than the amount you were given. Once you have paid that amount out of your pocket, then the employer starts paying 80% you 20%. Whereas with the HSA plan, that's where you aren't given any money to use towards medical expenses, you simply have a very large out of pocket deductible you must satisfy before you will get any coverage. The only thing both plans provide free of charge is yearly annual physical exams. HSA won't even given you copays for your prescriptions whereas HRA does. HRA is almost always the better way to go.
 
B

Barcode

Guest
i hardly ever go to the doc.... picked HSA lol.

question though... do the benefits take effect April 1st??
 
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Joined
Jun 16, 2011
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One thing you need to know is that the HSA will count your prescriptions toward your deductibles and the HRA will not. That's a good thing to know if you have a lot of prescriptions.
 

nib

Joined
Jan 31, 2012
Messages
461
Yes, the plan year goes from April 1st 2012 to March 31st 2013. That's the "plan year" for everything, vacation, ph, holiday pay, medical, dental, etc.
Because of all the drastic cuts in coverage this year, it's a good idea to also sign up for an FSA = Flexible Spending Account - which is pre-tax dollars taken out of your paycheck to cover medical, dental, vision, prescriptions costs with income that can't be taxed.
 

Electronics Man

Electronics Team Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2011
Messages
335
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
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hmm, thanks for the info guys. And yeah my region is now up for enrollment. Possibly thinking HSA as I DON'T go to the doctor, just if something crazy happens. For the most part I don't do doctors.
 

nib

Joined
Jan 31, 2012
Messages
461
If you are part time you won't be eligible for the HSA plan though, you'll have to pick the Basic Plus PPO plan.
hmm, thanks for the info guys. And yeah my region is now up for enrollment. Possibly thinking HSA as I DON'T go to the doctor, just if something crazy happens. For the most part I don't do doctors.
 
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