Skip to main content

How a Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) Works

See for yourself what an HRA can do for you!


Hi, I’m David from Aetna, and here with me to talk about Aetna’s Health Reimbursement Arrangement is my good friend... HRA Man.

Aetna’s HRA* is a powerful ally for your health – protecting you with the same in-network medical coverage you’re used to, but with the additional assistance of a fund set up by your employer, called a Health Reimbursement Arrangement - an HRA. The HRA is paired with a high deductible health benefits and insurance plan to help you pay for qualified medical expenses... expenses that you would otherwise be paying out of pocket.

This is Maggie. Maggie’s employer also offers an HRA plan. Now, her deductible is a bit higher than she’s used to, but she pays a lower monthly premium AND her employer contributes money into her HRA – which helps cover some of her medical expenses before her insurance coverage kicks in.

Also – these expenses are paid automatically out of her HRA – one less thing for Maggie to keep track of. And if she gets an annual physical or any other kind of preventive care, those services are covered at 100%. Maggie won’t pay a cent, not even from her HRA.

When Maggie researches her doctors and chooses to stay in Aetna’s network, she makes her HRA dollars go even further...

...So much further, in fact, that by the end of the year, Maggie hasn’t used up all the money in her HRA. That’s okay – because as long as she stays on this plan, the money in her HRA rolls over from year to year** – so if she doesn’t use it all, she has a bit of a nest egg for... unforeseen medical emergencies.

Aetna is here to support Maggie with helpful tools on her Aetna Navigator website. She can log in any time to check her HRA fund balance, in real time.

But that’s not all...

Aetna Navigator’s DocFind helped Maggie find an in-network doctor who’s really into regular check-ups, healthy eating, and... rollerblading. When that doc asked for Maggie’s health history, getting that info was easy – Maggie just pulled up her health history report in Navigator, downloaded it, and brought it to her doctor’s office.

And when she needed an x-ray to make sure she didn’t break an ankle after rollerblading with her dog...

Maggie was able to compare the estimated costs of this procedure using the Member Payment Estimator. It uses her real-time plan information to estimate how much she will owe.

Oh and did I mention that Maggie did some of this from her iPhone? Yeah, Aetna’s got a mobile app too.

So... think of Aetna’s HRA plan and Aetna Navigator as your own personal dynamic duo of health insurance...

...Making it easy for you to make smart health care choices.

Contact your employer for more info on HRA plans.

*HRAs are currently not available to HMO members in Illinois and Small Group members in Florida.
**Check with your employer for your HRA rollover details.

Health benefits and health insurance plans are offered and/or underwritten by Aetna Health Inc., Aetna Health of California Inc., Aetna Health Insurance Company of New York, Aetna Health Insurance Company and/or Aetna Life Insurance Company (Aetna). In Florida by Aetna Health Inc. and/or Aetna Life Insurance Company.  In Maryland by Aetna Health Inc., 151 Farmington Avenue, Hartford, CT 06156. Each insurer has sole financial responsibility for its own products.

This material is for information only. Providers are independent contractors and are not agents of Aetna. Provider participation may change without notice. Aetna does not provide care or guarantee access to health services. Health benefits and health insurance plans contain exclusions and limitations. Aetna HealthFund HRAs are subject to employer-defined use and forfeiture rules and are unfunded liabilities of your employer. Fund balances are not vested benefits. Not all health services are covered. See plan documents for a complete description of benefits, exclusions, limitations and conditions of coverage. Plan features and availability may vary by location and are subject to change Information is believed to be accurate as of the production date; however, it is subject to change. For more information about Aetna plans, refer to

JavaScript is required

In order to have the best experience on, Javascript needs to be enabled.
Learn how to change your browser settings to enable Javascript.

You are now leaving the Aetna website

Links to various non-Aetna sites are provided for your convenience only. Aetna Inc. and its subsidiary companies are not responsible or liable for the content, accuracy, or privacy practices of linked sites, or for products or services described on these sites.

Continue >