Medical Reimbursement Accounts (MRAs) - A Simple Overview

August 3, 2012
Medical Reimbursement Accounts (MRAs)

Medical Reimbursement Accounts (MRAs), sometimes called health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) are IRS-approved plans wherein an employer reimburses an employee, their spouses, and dependents for medical expenses. Because the reimbursement occurs pre-tax via payroll, employees and employers often save up to 50% in combined taxes on the cost of medical expenses.


MRAs give employers greater control over monthly health benefits costs, and give employees more choice in their health care coverage. With an MRA, the employer sets their own parameters, including:

  • Which expenses and services are covered
  • Maximum contribution amounts
  • What happens to unused contributions

MRAs must be funded solely by the employer, and cannot be funded by the employee through salary deductions. MRAs are not subject to the same plan design requirements that apply to Flexible Spending Accounts and Section 125 cafeteria plans.

MRAs by Other Names

The term "Medical Reimbursement Account" is synonymous with many other terms, and can be used interchangeably with the following:

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