One of the biggest advantages of working for a company that offers a Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangement (QSEHRA) is the opportunity to get reimbursed for your individual insurance premiums. You don’t need an insurance policy to participate in the QSEHRA—or to be reimbursed for other eligible medical expenses—but having one is helpful. Besides the obvious advantages of being insured, having major medical coverage—or minimum essential coverage (MEC)—entitles you to tax-free reimbursement of all QSEHRA-eligible expenses. While it’s possible to get MEC in other ways (through a spouse’s group insurance policy, for example), many QSEHRA participants gain qualifying coverage through an individual insurance policy. If you don’t already have an individual insurance policy, you’ll need to purchase one and attest to that purchase to start getting tax-free reimbursement of your premium payments and other medical expenses. Unfortunately, simply becoming eligible for a QSEHRA doesn’t entitle you to a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). If your company implements a QSEHRA outside of the open enrollment period, you’ll need a qualifying life event to purchase an individual insurance policy. In this post, we’ll go over qualifying life events, how to verify them through your local exchange, and how to use that policy to access tax-free reimbursement through the QSEHRA.
Since the 21st Century Cures Act created the Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangement (QSEHRA) in December 2016, concerns have surfaced over whether certain state laws conflict with the new benefit.
Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangements (QSEHRAs), sometimes called Small Business HRAs, are a popular benefit for companies looking to reimburse their employees for individual health insurance and medical expenses. A natural next question for business owners is "Can I get in on this?" As with many IRS rules, the answer depends. In our new infographic, you can tell at a glance what kinds of business owners are or are not eligible to participate in the QSEHRA and when.
One of the chief benefits of offering a personalized benefits solution like the Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangement (QSEHRA), or Small Business HRA, is its potential to save small businesses money. Because the QSEHRA allows businesses to set their own budget on a per-employee basis, business owners can control costs – and, because individual insurance is almost always cheaper than group policies, small businesses often cover their employees’ entire premium while cutting expenses. But not all individual markets are the same. While covering an employee under a group policy is more expensive for most small businesses, there are several parts of the country where the individual market has deteriorated to the point that an individual policy is actually more costly. In these situations, does it still make sense to offer personalized benefits instead of a traditional group policy? In this post, we’ll explore how to determine whether the group or individual market is more favorable, when to explore options outside of group, and how to determine if a QSEHRA is the best fit, even if it’s more expensive.
I love working for a small business. In a smaller office, my day-to-day impact is much bigger, and when I wake up in the mornings, I know I’m going to make a difference. But health insurance is also important to me—and, unfortunately, quite a few small businesses don’t offer health benefits. For many years, that led to a hard choice: Join a larger company that offers benefits, or go without benefits to work for a small business. That’s not the case anymore. I now work for a small business that offers me a Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangement (QSEHRA), or Small Business HRA.
When Congress passed the 21st Century Cures Act in December 2016, it created a new health plan for small businesses—the Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangement (QSEHRA), or Small Business HRA. Under a QSEHRA, businesses with fewer than 50 full-time employees can reimburse their staff for individual insurance premiums and qualified out-of-pocket medical expenses. The business sets a monthly allowance for employees, verifies and approves employee expenses, and then reimburses them from that allowance. QSEHRAs are administered on a tax-free basis for small businesses. Employees are also spared from income tax—provided they’re covered by an insurance policy with minimum essential coverage (MEC). Hundreds of small businesses across the country have already found relief through the QSEHRA, both from the cost and administration time associated with group health insurance and from the damage of not offering health benefits at all. However, what businesses may not realize is that even employees without MEC can benefit from the QSEHRA.
The following is a summary of a section from our free resource, The Comprehensive Guide to the Small Business HRA. If you would like to download the full resource, click here. Now that you’ve decided to start offering the Small Business HRA to your employees, you need an effective way to administer it. As we discussed previously, it’s important to choose the right HRA administration tool. When you’re ready to review potential Small Business HRA providers, here are eight questions to keep in mind.
Research consistently shows that health benefits top the list of benefits employees value most. However, today’s workers are looking for more than just a health plan—they want more choices and greater flexibility. Unfortunately, traditional group health insurance generally doesn’t offer much by way of freedom of choice.
Declining unemployment rates, rising wages, and a rebounding economy mean that today’s workers can afford to be choosier when it comes to finding employment. A recent MetLife survey reveals that businesses that want to hire and keep the most talented employees must dial in to what they want most: flexible, customizable benefits—particularly with respect to health benefits.
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.