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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 plan allows portable insurance

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posted: 11/22/2006  reposted: 2/18/2011 This post has not been recently reviewed or revised by the author and may be out of date.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: I want to take a position with a company that offers medical benefits but I do not want to give up my current health insurance policy that I have had for years. Can I keep both?

A: No; since you cannot collect benefits from both policies, the state insurance laws make it impossible to keep both as a matter of consumer protection and to avoid fraudulent claims. The usual solution is for the employer to adapt a Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) plan that allows the employer's contribution to be paid toward the cost of your old insurance policy. An HRA allows for "portable" health insurance that is clearly the direction of the future. This approach is already used by almost all of the largest employers today and is now easy and affordable for any size company. The cost of this benefit design is only $60 per employee per year. There are many practical and financial advantages for the employer as well. See the articles at on the HRA page for more information. Employers are not required to offer any type of health plan to employees, including HRAs. So you must discuss this option with your new employer


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