Good news for QSEHRAs in Minnesota: MNsure, Minnesota's state-based exchange, recently added a special enrollment period (SEP) for Qualifying Small Entity Health Reimbursement Arrangements (QSEHRAs), a tax-friendly benefits option for small businesses created by the 21st Century Cures Act at the end of 2016.
What this means is that if an employee starts working at a company that offers a small business HRA or if a small business starts offering small business HRAs to existing employees, it prompts a SEP, giving those individuals 30 days to choose a new plan, instead of having to wait until the next open enrollment period.
It's exciting to see states amending their laws to accommodate such a great tool for small businesses that allows them to offer competitive, tailored benefit packages at a price they can afford. This is a trend our team at Take Command Health hopes to see across the country!
How it happened
Let's start with a little context. Minnesota is one of more than a dozen states that run their own exchange and actually outperformed the federal exchange this past year. With more flexibility, state-run exchanges can change the length of their enrollment periods and create special enrollment periods, giving individuals more time to choose a plan. Minnesota's marketplace was particularly successful this past year due to a reinsurance program funded by the state that helped cap premium growth and well-funded outreach programs.
How it works
Normally, an individual qualifies for an SEP of 60 days if they've had certain life events, like having a baby, moving, getting married, etc. The great thing about SEPs is that no one has to wait around for the next open enrollment period.
Now that small business HRAs can prompt SEPs in Minnesota, any employee who begins work at a small company offering a QSEHRA will have a special enrollment period of only 30 days to change their individual or family health coverage.
It's important to note the timing. The SEP will begin on the day the employee starts as a new hire for the company or on the date the QSEHRA starts for an already existing employee. Coverage can't start until the QSEHRA begins. If an employee selects their plan between the 1st and 15th of the month, their coverage will begin the following month. If they select a plan between the 16th and last day of the month, their plan will begin two months out.
Take Command Health is here to help
Want to learn if a small business HRA is right for your company? Setting up an HRA doesn’t have to be difficult. The first step is to find an adviser you trust to guide you through the process. The experts at Take Command Health will help you come up with an efficient HRA design that is compliant with all the rules. Once your HRA is established, our team of experts will help your employees choose a plan that fits their needs, handle the onboarding process, and make tax time a breeze.
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I wrote this blog because I care about ideas (big and little) that can help fix our healthcare system. I used to work on projects for Kaiser Permanente and the Parkland Health & Hospital System so I've seen the system inside and out. It's so important that consumers keep up with industry shifts and changing health insurance regulations. I'm also Take Command Health's Content Editor and a busy mom. Learn more about me and connect with me on our about us page. Thanks!