The IRS guidance for Excepted Benefits HRAs and Individual Coverage HRAs might just prove beneficial for your company financially in terms of flexibility for both you and your staff. These tax-advantaged tools are new as of 2020. Here's what to know!
What is an Excepted benefit HRA?
The Excepted Benefit HRA is a relatively new tax-advantaged tool for employee benefits. If you offer group insurance to your employees, this smaller HRA would be an additional benefit that would work together with the proffered group policy. The excepted benefit HRA allows companies to reimburse their staff for specific medical expenses, such as an eye exam or dental visit. This HRA is exempt from ACA group insurance requirements and caps out at $1,800 per employee for each year.
However, the excepted benefit HRA cannot be offered in conjunction with the individual coverage HRA. It won’t allow employers to reimburse premiums for either individual nor group health policies, nor for Medicare parts B or D. Excepted benefit HRA can only reimburse for benefits such as premiums for dental or vision plans and expenses that arise from such visits.
Special enrollment periods and QSEHRA
Prior to the IRS guidelines, those who participate in QSEHRA must wait for open enrollment or until they experience a qualifying life event to enroll in individual health insurance. However, special enrollment periods are now available for anyone who becomes eligible for the individual coverage HRA (ICHRA) as well as for QSEHRA since 2020.
ICHRA and Premium Tax Credits
Unfortunately, employees will not be allowed to receive tax credits if they are enrolled in ICHRA. However, employees will be allowed to opt out of the ICHRA for at least a year. If they choose to opt out, they will be allowed to receive tax credits for that year if the ICHRA plan offered is deemed "unaffordable".
Can you pair ICHRA with other HRAs?
You may be able to offer ICHRA with QSEHRA, but the benefits offered from both may be redundant and therefore not beneficial. And because you cannot offer ICHRA in conjunction with a group plan to the same class of employees, it wouldn’t work with excepted benefit HRA. However, you could offer excepted benefit HRA to one class and ICHRA to another, as long as the classes are defined fairly.
Help with IRS guidance for EBHRAs and ICHRAs...
With the added benefits of each HRA option, there are a lot of choices for businesses of all sizes.
Chat with our team with any questions you may have about these new, tax-friendly benefits or check out our new ICHRA Guide for more information on its background, setup process, requirements, and rules.
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!