Recent health-care reform initiatives, including the passage of the 21st Century Cures Act in December 2016, have ushered in significant changes that will affect the health insurance industry through 2017 and beyond. One of the new changes includes updates to Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs), one of the best ways for small businesses to offer health benefits to their employees. Here are four things to know about HRAs and changes in health law for 2017.
Everyday I talk to employers, agents, or other financial professionals who ask me questions about Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), and how they function with Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) and insurance policies. See my earlier post "The difference between HRAs and HSAs" for appropriate background. A common question I receive is "Can an employee have an HRA and HSA at the same time?" The answer is: "Absolutely, yes. And they should!"
There are a lot of acronyms used when discussing nontraditional health benefits options. Two of the most popular and promising options are HSAs (Health Savings Accounts) and HRAs (Health Reimbursement Arrangements). Even though they both have a similar premise, there are a few key differences. If you have an HSA/HRA or you are considering offering one to your employees, consider the following:
Small businesses still offering noncompliant health care reimbursement plans, often called employer payment plans, were given a new chance to come into compliance under the law, as well as a new avenue in which to do so, thanks to federal legislation passed in December 2016. Under the 21st Century Cures Act, transition relief for businesses with fewer than 50 employees was retroactively extended from June 30, 2015, through December 31, 2016. That means any small business taking part in a noncompliant health care reimbursement plan won’t be subject to an IRS tax penalty until January 1, 2017. This is great news for small businesses nationwide that are searching for an affordable, compliant benefits solution for their employees, particularly with the new Small Business Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) now available.
Introduction to Health Reimbursement Arrangements A Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA), commonly referred to as a health reimbursement account, is an IRS-approved, employer-funded, tax-advantaged employer health benefit plan that reimburses employees for out-of-pocket medical expenses and individual health insurance premiums. An HRA is not health insurance. A Health Reimbursement Arrangement allows the employer to make contributions to an employee's account and provide reimbursement for eligible expenses. An HRA plan is an excellent way to provide health insurance benefits and allow employees to pay for a wide range of medical expenses not covered by insurance. Because of federal legislation passed in December 2016, there exists a new HRA available to small businesses. For information on the Small Business HRA and the Small Business Healthcare Relief Act, see our page The Small Business Health Reimbursement Arrangement, specifically the section describing new HRA provisions for small businesses. The following article provides an overview of what an HRA is and how it's structured.
If your small business uses a Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) or Healthcare Reimbursement Plan (HRP) to reimburse employees’ health insurance premiums, a common questions is, “What major health insurance companies can I pay for using my reimbursement plan?” The answer is simple. Let’s break it down.
The passage of the 21st Cures Act in December 2016 created a new health benefit option for small businesses—the Small Business Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA). Although this is a win for small businesses, it can also be a source of confusion.
It can be difficult for any business to decipher the ever-changing healthcare laws, especially when it comes to the section on Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs). Small businesses tend to be at a disadvantage in this arena because they are working with less resources, both human and financial. Luckily, reimbursement software can help qualified small employers (QSEs) remain in compliance while saving you time and money.
This week, the Small Business Healthcare Relief Act (SBHRA), (S. 1698 and H.R. 2911) received much-needed attention by political leaders in Washington. During both House and Senate committee hearings, the positive impact this legislation will have on small businesses struggling to provide affordable health benefits was front and center.
Disclaimer: The information provided on this website is general in nature and does not apply to any specific U.S. state except where noted. Health insurance regulations differ in each state. See a licensed agent for detailed information on your state. Zane Benefits, Inc. does not sell health insurance.