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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.

HRA as Secondary Insurance?

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Question: I am the fortunate position that I am covered under my spouse’s insurance at a fantastic rate (group health PPO). I’m about to start a fulltime job which offers an HRA “health plan” as a medical benefit option. If I enroll in that plan, will I receive medical care under the PPO as usual and then use the HRA for copays, etc. like I do for an FSA? Or will the HRA qualify as my “primary insurance”? There are levels which are for myself only, myself + spouse, myself + family. My birthday comes first in the calendar year, and will my children also be treated with my insurance as primary if I include my family members?

Answer: HRA plans are very flexible and I’d have to know more about how your employer’s plan is structured to give you a precise answer. But I’ll step out on a limb here and say that you can continue to use your wife’s health insurance coverage primarily and utilize your employer’s HRA plan to reimburse your (and your dependents’ if you add them) out-of-pocket medical expenses. This would be a win-win for both you and your employer, though not for your spouse’s employer.

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