Do you have questions about the ICHRA class rules? The Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Arrangement offers 11 classes, which separate employees into groups by legitimate job-based criteria like hours worked or location. Classes can be awarded different levels of benefits. This is a hallmark characteristic that gives business owners a lot of flexibility with the design. Let’s look at the ICHRA class rules, which ensure that benefits are offered fairly to all employees.
ICHRA Class Rules
To better understand ICHRA class rules, let's go over how ICHRA classes work, what the types of classes actually are, and ideas to design your ICHRA to streamline your benefits spend.
How do ICHRA classes work?
To help employers prioritize their health benefits budget, employee classes separate employees into groups by legitimate job-based criteria like hours worked or location.
The nice thing about ICHRA is that you can combine it with a traditional group health plan. Employers may offer one class of employees a group health plan and another class of employees an ICHRA.
There's just one caveat. Employers cannot offer employees in the same class (say full-time employees) the choice between a traditional group health plan or ICHRA.
Each class needs to have only one benefit offering.
What are the ICHRA classes?
The ICHRA classes are as follows:
- Full-time employees
- Part-time employees
- Seasonal employees
- Employees covered under a collective bargaining agreement
- Employees in a waiting period
- Foreign employees who work abroad
- Employees working in the same geographic location (same insurance rating area, state, or multi-state region)
- Salaried workers
- Non-Salaried workers (such as hourly workers)
- Temporary employees of staffing firms
- A combination of two or more of the above
Each class can be divided further by age and number of dependents.
ICHRA class rules: class size requirements
Employers who plan to offer a traditional group health plan to at least one class of employees and an ICHRA to another class of employees will need to keep in mind the minimum class size requirements. These requirements were put in place to prevent the individual market from being saturated with high risk individuals.
Minimum class size requirements apply to the following classes:
- Salaried Employees
- Non-Salaried Employees
- Full-time Employees
- Part-time Employees
- Employees in the same geographic rating area
The minimum number of employees to be included in a class ultimately depends on the size of the employer based off the employee count on the first day of the plan year.
A few other ICHRA class size notes:
- Combo Classes: Minimum class size applies to any combo-classes that include one of the classes listed above unless it’s a combo with the waiting-period class, in which case there is no restriction
- Rating Area Classes: Minimum class sizes only apply to rating areas smaller than a state. For example, if you or your client has one employee in a remote state, you could have a class of one without violating the rules. However, if you’re using a narrower rating area design (typically at the “county” level) then minimum class sizes apply.
Important Reminder: Minimum class sizes only apply when at least one class is being offered a traditional group plan. If an employer is offering multiple ICHRAs to different classes, there are no minimum class size restrictions.
Still have questions about ICHRA class rules?
Take Command is here to help you with your ICHRA questions or to find the right fit for you, your business, and your employees.
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A wife to one and mother to four, Keely does all of the things. She’s also dabbled in personal finance blogging and social media management, contributed to MetroFamily magazine, and is passionate about good food, treasure hunting and upcycling. With a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Oklahoma and a knack for a witty punchline, it’s no surprise that Keely’s social posts are as clever as they get. In her (very little) free time, you’ll find Keely with her nose in a book or trying out a local restaurant with her family.