The West Ohio Conference will transition from a group Humana Medicare Advantage plan to a Health Reimburse Account (HRA) administered by Via Benefits beginning January 1, 2022. This partnership with Via Benefits and Wespath follows the lead of 28 annual conferences and 3 United Methodist employer groups representing more than 9,000 members.

What is an HRA?

An HRA is a tax advantaged account used to reimburse retirees for eligible expenses. Funded by the conference, HRA dollars can be used to pay for eligible out-of-pocket health-related expenses including health premiums, co-payments, co-insurance, dental care, vision care, prescription medications, and other expenses that are eligible under the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).


There are numerous advantages in moving to an HRA model. First, and most importantly, an HRA will offer choice. Each retiree will have the opportunity to select a plan that best meets their unique medical and financial needs. It is an opportunity to “right-size” their healthcare. Since couples share an HRA, it also allows a spouse with higher medical costs to use more of the household’s share of HRA money than a spouse with lower costs, if that works for their family.

Second, an HRA is cost effective. A recent impact analysis conducted by Willis Towers Watson revealed the HRA benefit will provide excellent coverage for all our retirees with as many as 97% being able to do so at a lower annual cost.

Finally, an HRA is a more financially sustainable and flexible funding option. At present our balance sheet is strong due to the sacrificial giving and strategic money management of many people over many years. Moving to an HRA now, from a strong financial position, will help ensure meeting our current and future obligations.

Here to help!

Via Benefits’ staff of licensed and certified advisors who are trained in UMC culture will offer objective, individualized support in navigating the election of plans. Additionally, conference staff will work tirelessly to ensure a well-ordered enrollment experience. Additional informational sessions for current retirees will be conducted in the fall to answer specific questions and provide guidance on the enrollment process.

Please visit the Wespath website and specifically these links for additional information: