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HDHP/HSA vs HRA vs FSA
Old 07-25-2012, 06:19 PM   #1
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HDHP/HSA vs HRA vs FSA

My spouse has a new employer and for the first time, her bennies include low-cost health insurance. She went on vacation, missed all the new employee orientations, and has delayed signing all the forms until hours before her next vacation. She doesn't want to do any online research and just wants me to tell her what to do. Hence this post because I don't have time to do any research either as I am going on a business trip in a few hours.

We currently have an HDHP plus HSA through my employer which covers me, my spouse, and our children.

Her health plan has an HRA that her employer pays into to cover some of her co-pays. She is also eligible for an FSA.

Can my spouse sign up for her health insurance and have double-coverage or do I have to take my spouse off my HDHP plan (leave the kids)?

As long as we do not "double-dip" can we have all these plans concurrently?

What else should I worry about? Thanks!
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Old 07-25-2012, 06:32 PM   #2
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Most insurance plans will not cover someone if they have another policy unless they are specifically designed for that. So, no double coverage. She can be covered by one plan and you another - no problem there. Don't really see any issues, especially if she has an HRA.
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Old 07-25-2012, 06:36 PM   #3
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Well back when DH was still employed I was eligible for coverage on his policy and eligible on my own policy through my policy.

It most certainly was possible to be covered by both. However, my policy was primary and would pay first and then DH's policy would pay secondary. It was sort of a pain to work with and get everything submitted properly and eventually I elected not to be covered on my firm's policy because the coverage was better on his policy and it was just easier if it was primary.
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Old 07-25-2012, 06:40 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Katsmeow View Post
Well back when DH was still employed I was eligible for coverage on his policy and eligible on my own policy through my policy.

It most certainly was possible to be covered by both. However, my policy was primary and would pay first and then DH's policy would pay secondary. It was sort of a pain to work with and get everything submitted properly and eventually I elected not to be covered on my firm's policy because the coverage was better on his policy and it was just easier if it was primary.
Exactly our experience. My employer insurance was better than DW's so she declined hers. Her company paid a sum of money into an FSA for her as a "reward" for not having employer insurance. We used her FSA to pay the deductibles and co-pays on my insurance when needed, along with dental, eye tests etc.
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Old 07-25-2012, 06:53 PM   #5
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When there are two policies available each covered individual needs to choose a primary policy. Secondary coverage usually exists where it is specifically designated. In Florida, for example, UHC won't even process a claim on our policy until an affidavit is submitted confirming there is no other insurance - each January. The policy coverage document will define this.

It is worthwhile to check and see if the employer will substitute a medical account contribution in lieu of the policy.
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Old 07-25-2012, 07:53 PM   #6
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Just an FYI. Starting in 2013, FSA contributions will be limited to $2500, per ObamaCare. This reduction does not apply to HSA's and HRA's.
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Old 07-26-2012, 06:20 AM   #7
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Thanks everyone!
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Old 07-26-2012, 11:50 AM   #8
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When there are two policies available each covered individual needs to choose a primary policy.
In my experience with group health insurance, you didn't get to choose a primary policy. The policy itself indicated which one would be primary. For spouses, for example, the policy for the particular spouse's own employer would be primary. For children, the policy that was primary was the one for the parent with the earlier birthday during the year (i.e. if one parent was born in January and the other was born in February then the January parent's policy was primary). This may be different in other markets.
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Old 07-26-2012, 12:13 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Katsmeow View Post
In my experience with group health insurance, you didn't get to choose a primary policy. The policy itself indicated which one would be primary. For spouses, for example, the policy for the particular spouse's own employer would be primary. For children, the policy that was primary was the one for the parent with the earlier birthday during the year (i.e. if one parent was born in January and the other was born in February then the January parent's policy was primary). This may be different in other markets.
The fact that just about every policy is different and each state has its own regulations makes it hard to answer what should be a straightforward question and simple matter.
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Old 07-26-2012, 12:36 PM   #10
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The fact that just about every policy is different and each state has its own regulations makes it hard to answer what should be a straightforward question and simple matter.
That's for sure.
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Old 07-26-2012, 02:56 PM   #11
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The fact that just about every policy is different and each state has its own regulations makes it hard to answer what should be a straightforward question and simple matter.
Based on my past experience with this nonsense, admittedly two decades back, neither policy actually pays, but just sends back claims with letters indicating that they aren't the primary. (We wound up using the state insurance commissioner as arbitrator between the two insurers, paying the bills out of pocket until settlement a few years later.)
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Old 07-26-2012, 03:31 PM   #12
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Based on my past experience with this nonsense, admittedly two decades back, neither policy actually pays, but just sends back claims with letters indicating that they aren't the primary. (We wound up using the state insurance commissioner as arbitrator between the two insurers, paying the bills out of pocket until settlement a few years later.)
Chalk one up for the saying "less is more."

Logic seems to say being covered under two policies is better than one but in your case it was each company playing pass the buck.
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Old 07-26-2012, 03:48 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M Paquette

Based on my past experience with this nonsense, admittedly two decades back, neither policy actually pays, but just sends back claims with letters indicating that they aren't the primary. (We wound up using the state insurance commissioner as arbitrator between the two insurers, paying the bills out of pocket until settlement a few years later.)
I had that problem a while back with my daughters claim. I have always covered her after divorce. Did not know that my ex also had her on for free with with her husbands plan which was better insurance. Their company was trying to get mine to pay which had a higher deductible, so I just dropped mine and that ended the problem.
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