The basic idea is the same no matter which you have. You contribute pre-tax and tax-deductible dollars to be used for IRS-approved qualified medical expenses – things like copays, deductibles, coinsurance and prescriptions. Three types of arrangements can be coupled with either a High-Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) or traditional Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plan.
An HSA is paired with a HDHP and you and your employer can put money into the account. After the bank sets up the account, you're given a debit card or check to use when you need to pay for approved medical services. You own this account and can take it with you from job to job.
Your employer would create a HRA for you and make the contributions into your account, so you can’t take this with you if you change jobs. Your employer will let you know which expenses qualify for automatic reimbursement in what amounts. It could work in one of two ways - you pay first then get reimbursed or the HRA pays first.
An FSA can be included with any type of healthcare plan. Once it’s set up, you’ll decide how much money you will spend on medical expenses in a year. Then you simply contribute funds through pre-tax payroll deductions. Unused funds do not rollover into the next year and the account is not portable.
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