ICHRA plan: What you need to know

by Keely S.

If you have questions about what qualifies as an ICHRA plan, we’ve got you covered! The individual coverage health reimbursement arrangement (ICHRA) requires employees and their dependents to be enrolled in a qualified health plan for each month the employee and their family members are reimbursed. There are several options that meet this requirement, however, not all health plans can be integrated with ICHRA. Read on to find out all about ICHRA plans.

What is a Qualified Health Plan for ICHRA?

A Qualified Health Plan for ICHRA is a major medical plan that can be purchased on or off the Exchange. It must meet the minimum requirements as outlined in Public Health Services (PHS) Act Section 2711 and Section 2713. These two provisions require no annual or lifetime limits on the dollar amount for coverage of essential health benefits and full coverage of preventative health services to be covered with no shared cost to the insured.

Essentially, ICHRA requires individuals to purchase a qualified medical plan that is MEC compliant.

ICHRA plan options

The following plans are allowed with ICHRA:

  • Individual Major Medical Plans
    (on or off-exchange)
  • Catastrophic Plans (limited to under age 30
    or qualify for a hardship exemption)
  • Medicare Part A + B or Part C
  • Student Health Insurance

On the other hand, the following plans do not work with ICHRA:

  • Short-Term Limited Duration Insurance (STLDI) - While short term plans can not be integrated with ICHRA, they do work with EBHRA.
  • Health Care Sharing Ministries (HCSM) 
  • Fixed Indemnity Plans
  • Excepted benefits coverage only (vision, dental, etc)
  • Association Health Plans
  • Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements (MEWA)
  • Spouse’s insurance - Individual coverage integration unfortunately does not include coverage on a spouse's plan. This post on ICHRA and spouse's insurance has more information and options.

Is it difficult to purchase an ICHRA plan?

The good news is, securing the right type of plan to participate in ICHRA is not difficult. Employees offered the Individual Coverage HRA qualify for a Special Enrollment Period upon the initial offering. This gives employees 60 days from the date that they become eligible for the ICHRA to purchase a qualifying plan outside the normal open enrollment period (open enrollment typically runs Nov 1-Dec 15 nationwide).

Pro-Tip: For clients using Take Command Health as their ICHRA administrator, we will automatically generate the documents your employees need and can help them search for and enroll in a plan online.

Next Steps: Finding the right ICHRA plan

Employees looking for qualified ICHRA plans can shop and compare plans directly at Take Command Health. With the ability to compare plans based on preferred doctors and prescription coverage, buying a plan has never been easier. We've also written a comprehensive guide with pretty much everything you'll ever need to know.

Check out our 2021 Open Enrollment Guide if you need help shopping for a plan for ICHRA! 


Picture of Keely S.

Hi, I'm Keely S.! 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.