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Covered California Q&A

Covered California and Obamacare related questions from consumers, employers and agents are answered by Phil Daigle with the best information available at the time. Archived entries may no longer be accurate as the Covered California and Obamacare knowledge-base is evolving quickly. TO REQUEST A PERSONAL RESPONSE INCLUDE EMAIL ADDRESS.

October 2010 Archives

HRA Benefits to Employees

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Question: How does the health reimbursement account work for the employee?

Answer: A HRA fund or account is money that is set aside by your employer and is used toward medical expenses for some your out-of-pocket medical expenses. For example, if you have an annual deductible of $2,500 and a $1,000 fund, up to $1,000 of your medical expenses is paid out of that account. You are then responsible for your remaining expenses up to $2,500, when the high-deductible health insurance coverage kicks in. Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) get preferential tax treatment - you are not taxed on the amount reimbursed.

Question: I have been diagnosed with breast cancer and I am covered under my husband's current COBRA coverage. What happens to me when the COBRA coverage ends in November?

Businesses with less than 50 employees are not required to provide health insurance. Beginning in 2014, employers with more than 50 employees who do not offer group health insurance will pay a per-employee penalty fee. Also in 2014, employers with over 200 employees will be required to automatically enroll employees into a group health plan.

No. The mandate is for everyone to have health insurance starting in 2014. The Affordable Care Act does not dictate where you must buy it. The California Health Benefit Exchange is a new place to buy health insurance that will be available to all California individuals and businesses. However, those individuals or employees who's income qualifies them for a tax credit must use the Exchange.

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