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This Web site contains a compilation of more than a thousand consumer finance  columns written by Tony Novak from the 1980s through 2006, updated and reformatted for maximum usefulness today.  New material was added after 2010.

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HRA advice

originally posted: 11/22/2006  reposted: 2/18/2011 This post has not been recently reviewed or revised by the author and may be out of date. If you notice an error or are in doubt, please send a new question by email or ask for an update. Email

Q: Is there a user-to-user forum on HRAs out there on the Internet somewhere, where users and prospective HRA users (and maybe their employers) share experiences and advice?

A: Since Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) must be an employer-sponsored employee benefit and most plans require the use of professional third party plan administrators, most of the information comes from these administrators. We know of no employer-to-employer support group for any type of employee benefit plan; this is generally not the way that business owners and managers obtain advice on this type of issue. Businesses tend to prefer to hire professional advisers who assume this role of providing information and carrying out the administration of the benefit plan. The operation of an HRA requires a knowledge of technical parts of tax code and employee benefits law that most business owners have no interest in following. Even professional advisers and accountants refer to specialists in the administration of HRAs. I provide OnlineAdviser support to the businesses that use Freedom Benefits Association ( to set up the health benefit plans. Freedom Benefits offers a low cost custom-designed HRA plan for small businesses for a flat fee of $150 per year. This seems like the best way to get further information on this topic at the lowest cost. There are also several articles on that site designed to answer preliminary planning questions on HRAs.


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