Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) Account
The CARES Act and Over-the-Counter (OTC) Medications
Per the CARES Act signed into law on March 27, 2020
- Over-the-counter (OTC) medications do not require a prescription to be eligible for HRA; this includes menstrual products.
- This is retroactive with a start date of 01/01/20.
- It may take a few weeks for these items to be added to systems used to validate Benny Card purchases at the merchant level (there was an update on 4/15/20 which should have covered the majority of these items).
- Any claims submitted to the Fund Office for reimbursement of OTC medications can be reimbursed, with purchase date retroactive to 01/01/20.
Browser Requirements for Accessing the HRA Participant Portal
The privacy and security of your healthcare account information is always top priority at NECA-IBEW, and we work continuously to ensure your data's integrity by using the latest technologies.
If you use Microsoft Internet Explorer to access your HRA Participant Portal, beginning November 11, 2017, you will be required to use Microsoft Internet Explorer 11 or greater in order to login to your HRA Participant Portal.
By updating to Internet Explorer 11 or greater, we can continue to ensure the security of your health account information.
Please note that no changes are required if you are using a browser other than Microsoft Internet Explorer, specifically Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.
What is an HRA?
The Plan includes a Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA). You are eligible to participate if you work under a collective bargaining agreement that allows for contributions to an HRA on your behalf. You may also become eligible if you and your spouse earn rewards by participating in the Wellness and Disease Management Program (Wellness Power).
When eligible, the Plan establishes and maintains an account for the participant to use for reimbursement of eligible health care expenses on a tax- free-basis. Eligible expenses incurred by the participant, the spouse and dependents (under age 26) are eligible for reimbursement.
When you work for a contributing employer, an HRA contribution will be made on your behalf and credited to your HRA for each hour that you work. In other words, the more hours you work, the more contributions are made to you HRA. Please note that only employer HRA contributions made on your behalf are credited to your HRA; you may not make contributions to the account.
Option to Freeze your HRA Account
HRA accounts can only be used if the member and their dependents are enrolled in a group health plan. If your circumstances change, and you will use other non-group health plan insurance, or the exchange/marketplace, or any other subsidized insurance plan, you will not be eligible for an HRA account at the same time.
Basically, you can't use an HRA account and have a non-group health plan or subsidized insurance coverage at the same time. The only exception is retirees, who do not have to be enrolled in a group health plan to spend down their HRA account on qualified medical expenses.
If you will use a non-group health plan or any subsidized insurance, you can choose to freeze your HRA account. The HRA account cannot be used if you freeze it, but you will retain your balance and any accumulated interest until you earn until such time that the account is removed from the freeze status.
If you wish to freeze your HRA account, please call the Fund Office.
Opt-out of your HRA Account
There is an option to opt out of HRA reimbursement; however, under your collective bargaining agreement, funds would still be directed to your HRA account and you would forfeit any existing funds and any future contributions to your HRA account if you opt out. Contributions to an HRA account cannot be changed on an individual basis as they are part of the collective bargaining agreement.
If you wish to opt-out of your HRA account, please call the Fund Office.
Using your HRA
While contributions are only made on your behalf while you are working for a participating employer, you do not have to be an active participant to use the money in your HRA. However, effective January 1, 2017, you must be enrolled in a group health plan to use your HRA account (please refer to the Plan Document). This allows you to use your HRA for reimbursement of future expenses, such as the cost of continued coverage if you are not working enough hours or after retirement (if you are eligible for retiree coverage). In addition, your HRA balance is available to your surviving spouse and dependent children in the event of your death, provided they were covered as dependents under the Plan.
How to View Your HRA Account Activity
Quarterly HRA statements are mailed to participants four times a year. But did you know that you can view your HRA account activity at any time? Simply log in to the HRA Participant Portal, click Accounts on the main menu, then select Account Activity from the menu on the left.
For more detailed instructions, please see the View HRA Account Activity guide in the Documents & Forms library. Also, for help with login, see How to Login to the HRA Participant Portal.
The Benny Card can be used to pay for HRA-eligible expenses. Members are responsible for following the Benny Card Terms & Conditions every time the Benny Card is used.
Participants will be responsible for repayment of any debit card use for ineligible expenses.
If you receive a Benny card, you can login to your HRA Participant Portal, where you can view your current HRA balance and claim information. You can use this portal to file reimbursement claims online, and upload your documentation for both reimbursement claims and Benny Card claims. If you need help, please see the HRA Participant Portal User Guide in the Documents and Forms Library.
Replacement Benny Cards
Did you know that you can request replacement Benny Cards online at the HRA Participant Portal, and also on the Mobile App?
HRA Participant Portal: Login to your account, go to the Profile tab, and then click the Banking/Cards option.
You have two options:
Report Lost/Stolen - you will get 2 Benny Cards with a new number
Order Replacement - you will get 2 Benny Cards with the same number as your current Benny Card
-Your address will be displayed for verification. If your address has changed, please call the Fund Office before you order your new cards.
-There is a $10 fee for new Benny Cards which is deducted from your HRA account.
Mobile App: go to Me, Manage Debit Cards, then Report Lost/Stolen.
-You can only report Lost/Stolen on the mobile app (which will send you 2 cards with a new number). For replacement cards with the same number, visit the HRA Participant Portal
A Note about VISION claims and your HRA account
The Fund Office has noticed that participants sometimes use their HRA account to pay for vision claims upfront. Before using your Benny Card to make a payment to a vision provider, please check your Fund benefits first. Your vision benefit and eligibility can be obtained by calling the Fund Office (1-800-765-4239, press 9). This maximizes both your Fund benefits and the funds available in your HRA account.
How to make using the Benny Card easy!
Please click the image below for more information on how you can use your Benny Card to reduce or eliminate how much supporting documentation you need to submit to validate your Benny Card transactions.
Also, check out the NECA-IBEW Benefits app, available for iOS and Android devices. Find it in the iTunes App Store or on Google Play. You can file reimbursement claims using the mobile app, and also access your phone's camera to submit documentation for your reimbursement claims/Benny Card transactions.
How to use the Mobile App to Upload Documentation for your HRA Claims
Please refer to HRA-eligible expenses for a list of reimbursable expenses. Participants will be responsible for repayment of any debit card use for ineligible expenses.
Sign up for text alerts!
For up-to-date information on the status of your HRA account, you can sign up for text alerts to your mobile device.
You can elect to have text messages sent to your mobile device when:
-Replacement Benny Cards are mailed
-A reimbursement is issued
-Benny Card is used
This is in addition to the current text alert options for:
To set these alerts, log in to your HRA Participant Portal and select Statements & Notifications from the menu and then click Update Notification Preferences.
Click each header (Claim Alerts, Payment Alerts, Debit Card Alerts) to open up all options and check the alerts you would like to receive.
If you update your email address on your HRA Participant Portal account profile, you will receive an alert via email/text message. This will allow you to monitor any email changes to your HRA account profile.
If you receive an email that your email was changed on your HRA account profile and you did not authorize this change, please contact the Fund Office.
Note: at this time, your email is the only information that can be edited in your HRA account profile. Also, if you add your email address to your HRA account profile, you automatically consent to receive all communications electronically.
Did you know that you can receive your HRA notifications by text or email? Changing your notification preferences on your HRA Participant Portal can replace mailed paper notifications with environment-friendly electronic notifications. It is a win-win situation for both the Fund and our participants as 'going green' can help reduce the costs associated with printing and mailing these notifications.
To change your notification preferences, log in to your HRA Participant Portal and select Statements & Notifications from the menu and then click Update Notification Preferences.