Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Health Reimbursement Accounts/Blue-by-Design

These frequently asked questions are intended to help you assist your employees.

How does Blue-by-DesignSM work?

Blue-by-Design combines a traditional health plan with an employer-paid health reimbursement account (HRA). You have the freedom to use the doctors and facilities of your choice without a referral both in and out of network. When you receive care in our large network of physicians and hospitals, you'll enjoy discounts.

You can use dollars in your HRA to finance medical care during the year. Once you meet your deductible, you are only responsible for your coinsurance payments.

What is an HRA?

An HRA is a medical reimbursement plan paid solely by your employer. The employer sets the maximum HRA fund balance per employee. The employer reimburses you for qualified medical expenses up to the maximum dollar amount. The employer also determines how much of the unused balance you can carry over to the next year.

What is the cost to someone who selects Blue-by-Design?

You can expect to save on coverage costs compared to traditional plans. For example, how much does it really cost to carry a health benefits policy with a low copayment? Let's say the copayment is $15 for a doctor's office visit. This month, one family member visits the doctor. Is the cost just $15? Not really — you need to also include the medical premium deducted from your paycheck.

Let's say your traditional plan costs $650 in monthly premiums. This month would cost you $650, plus the $15 copayment for the office visit = $665. What if that was the only doctor visit for the year? Now how much did that one visit cost? The annual premium is $7,800 plus $15 for the doctor's visit, so your annual cost is $7,815.

The annual premium for Blue-by-Design is typically lower than a standard preferred provider organization (PPO) or health maintenance organization (HMO) plan. When comparing costs, you must include premium costs. Even if you spend your HRA funds and have to pay out of your pocket until you meet your deductible, the money you save on Blue-by-Design premiums may make it the better value.

How do I track my HRA balance?

On our website, log into My Health Toolkit®. Your balance will appear on the Welcome page. To view claims or additional details, select the Access Account link.

Can HRA funds be carried over into future years?

Check your plan information for specific details. 

Can I contribute to my HRA?

No, only employers can fund HRA plans.

Does COBRA apply to Blue-by-Design?

Yes, because an HRA is an employer-sponsored health plan, it is subject to COBRA.

Where can I find more information?

Get more information about Blue-by-Design or HRAs.