Retirees That Opt-Out of Retiree Health Can Use HRA
Thursday, April 22, 2021
Effective January 1, 2021, retirees that were determined to be eligible for Retiree Health Benefits can now utilize any amounts left in their Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRA) if they decide to opt-out of the Retiree Health Plan. Previously, these accounts were frozen until the Retiree re-enrolled in the Local 21 Retiree Health Plan, if ever.
Most commonly, a retiree and his or her spouse would opt-out if they had access to better and/or less expensive coverage through their spouse's employer. In order to remain eligible to access funds in their HRA, an opt-out retiree must prove that they continue to be enrolled in another group health plan, such as through his or her spouse. This change means that if an eligible retiree and/or dependent opt-out of the Retiree Health Plan, they may continue to use their HRA for eligible expenses they incur while enrolled in the other group health plan.
The HRA will continue to be inaccessible if the retiree is not eligible for, or forgoes enrollment in the Retiree Health Plan. In addition, the HRA will not be accessible to retirees that incur a break/lapse in group health coverage which nullifies their opt-out rights.
For more information, please don't hesitate to call the Welfare Fund Office.