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Blue Shield - New Virtual Blue Plans

The Virtual Blue plans give members (small and large groups) the choice of virtual or in-person care. Virtual care includes $0 unlimited visits to primary care, behavioral health and specialty care through a new partnership with AccoladeCare. In-person care is available through the Tandem PPO network in California and via BlueCard when outside of the state.

The two Virtual Blue small group plans available in PRISM are the Virtual Blue Gold Tandem PPO 1500/45 and Virtual Blue Bronze Tandem PPO 7500/75. These can be identified by ‘Virtual Blue’ in the plan name.

When using the PRISM filter options for Narrow or Broad networks, select ‘All’ networks instead of ‘Broad’ only networks to generate plans for Blue Shield’s Virtual Blue, Trio HMO, and Tandem PPO plans.

If you need assistance, please contact our Quotes team at or 800.696.4543.

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3 Hidden Advantages of an HRA VEBA

3 Hidden Advantages of an HRA VEBA

3 Hidden Advantages of an HRA VEBA

Feb 1, 2021, 2 Minute Read

While there are many advantages to tax-free Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) Voluntary Employee Benefit Accounts (VEBAs), including rolling funds and investing options, you may be surprised to learn about the additional hidden advantages of an HRA VEBA.

What is an HRA VEBA?

Three Hidden Advantages

Freedom on Withdrawals

While HRA VEBA funds are accessible in retirement, they are not viewed as qualified retirement plans and are not subject to the same rules as other retirement accounts, namely 401(k) and 403(b) plans.

Instead, account members can withdraw funds from their HRA VEBA at any time. The only rule is to use the funds to reimburse an eligible expense.

This means employees have more freedom on withdrawals. They can withdraw money from the account to pay for eligible expenses before the standard deadline (age 59) without a tax penalty.

Free Debit Cards

The debit cards that come with an HRA VEBA are provided at no additional cost. Plus, the cards come with smart-card technology and the ability to stack multiple plan types on one card.

When a member is enrolled in another pre-tax account and then enrolls in an HRA VEBA, the funds for both accounts are available on the same card. In most cases, the card will automatically pull from the correct account when purchasing eligible items.

Timing Flexibility

While an employer-funded HRA VEBA might raise concerns among employees about enrolling, there is more flexibility with account usage than employees might think.

Not only do employees have access to HRA VEBA funds during their employment, but they can also use the funds in retirement and if they change employers.

This plan’s flexibility is less common among other pre-tax accounts and is one of the more significant hidden advantages of an HRA VEBA.

Who Can Take Advantage of an HRA VEBA?

HRA VEBAs are a great fit for a variety of groups. Municipal/public-sector employers, schools, and universities, as well as Taft-Hartley union groups can benefit the most.

To learn how your employer groups can leverage HRA VEBA accounts to reduce costs and offer employees the healthcare coverage they need, download this flyer.

Contact us at 800.696.4543 or for assistance when you’re ready to enroll a group in a BRI HRA VEBA.


Contact your Claremont team at 800.696.4543 or

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