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How to shop for an ICHRA compliant plan

Wondering how to shop for an ICHRA compliant plan? With Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Arrangements (aka ICHRAs) being  available to businesses of all sizes, it’s likely that you may find yourself shopping for individual insurance for the first time after historically accepting the group health insurance plan provided through your employer each year without a second thought.  

Navigating the insurance marketplace can be overwhelming and confusing, but it’s a significant decision, and we’re here to help cut through the jargon so you can make the smartest decision for you and your family.  

Ready to learn how much you can reduce benefits cost?

What is an ICHRA compliant plan? 

First things first, to be eligible for ICHRA reimbursements, you and any dependents need to be enrolled in a qualified health insurance plan that meets Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC).

When shopping for an individual plan, you'll want to look for the words individual, bronze, silver, gold, or platinum in the plan name - those are good indicators that you are looking at a plan that meets MEC and is compliant with ICHRA.

Where do I find an ICHRA compliant plan?  

You can search for a plan and compare your options on our Window Shopping Tool, our own data-driven individual health insurance shopping platform, or you can shop plans off exchange (directly from a private insurance carrier or broker).  Medicare plans are compliant with ICHRA as long as you have Medicare Part A & B or Medicare Part C.  

We're the only ICHRA administrator that offers hands on, personalized enrollment support for employees. 

Do I need an ICHRA compliant plan to participate? 

Yes, you do. Otherwise, your health plan will not be eligible for reimbursement through your Individual Coverage HRA. 

What do the metal tiers mean in health insurance?

The primary difference between the different metal tiers is the percentage of costs that are covered by the plan. On one end of the spectrum, bronze plans have lower premiums, higher deductibles, and higher max-out-of-pocket costs. On the other side, platinum plans have much higher premiums, lower deductibles, and lower max-out-of-pocket costs. The metal tiers have nothing to do with the quality of care or coverage – they are simply about consumer preference regarding costs. 

To make your decision, it really comes down to how much you expect to use your health plan, and what you are comfortable with from a financial perspective. The lower the metal level, the lower the known cost (premium) but the higher the potential unexpected cost (max-out-of-pocket), and vice versa. When you enter your doctors, prescriptions, and conditions on the Take Command Health website we use this information to help estimate your costs to give you the most complete picture of what you can expect with each plan. We tend to recommend bronze and silver plans in most situations, and generally only recommend gold and platinum plans in specific scenarios.

Does all this lingo make your head spin? Check out this blog post that should hopefully clarify all the common insurance terminology you’re likely to run across.   

See if ICHRA is right for meAre there any health plans that don't work with ICHRA? 

Sharing plans like Medi-Share, Samaritan Ministries, and Liberty Health Share (among others) have grown increasingly popular over the last few years, but you’ll want to steer clear of these- they aren’t compliant with ICHRA. Short-term, limited duration insurance (STLDI) plans and coverage for vision & dental only will also not qualifyThe reason these plans aren’t compliant is that they don’t meet MEC requirements.   

When can I enroll in individual health insurance coverage? 

Anyone can enroll in or change their individual health insurance coverage during the individual market’s annual open enrollment period from November 1 through December 15. (Some state exchanges may provide additional time to enroll.) If your ICHRA starts on January 1, you (and your family members) should enroll in individual health insurance coverage during that open enrollment time frame. 

If your ICHRA starts on a date other than January 1 or if you are a new hire being offered the ICHRA mid-year, you can enroll in a plan outside of open enrollment using what is called a “special enrollment period” (more on that here).  If you qualify for a special enrollment period, make sure you enroll on time! You’ll have 60 days from the day your HRA starts to secure your coverage.  

Still have questions about ICHRA compliant plans? 

Chat with us online or contact us at We’d be happy to help you navigate your options and feel confident that you have an ICHRA compliant plan. 

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