Toggle navigation
new york health insurance for businesses.jpg

Taking Command of Your Company Health Benefits in New York

Hey there, New York business owners! Whether you're running a bustling startup in Brooklyn or a family-owned firm in Syracuse, you're well aware that health benefits can seem like a complex puzzle. But here's the good news — you don't have to be a benefits guru to find the best solutions for your team. This guide is designed to help you demystify health insurance, Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Arrangements (ICHRAs), and Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangements (QSEHRAs) right here in the Empire State. We've cut through the jargon and boiled it down to the essential information you need. So, put your 'I Heart NY' mug aside for a moment, and let's dive into the world of health benefits!

We understand that running a business takes more than just passion – it involves a lot of decision-making, especially when it comes to employee health benefits. That's where Take Command comes into play. We're committed to simplifying the process of choosing and managing health benefits for your team. Whether you're considering an ICHRA, a QSEHRA, or simply looking for the most suitable health plan, we provide a suite of tools and resources tailored to your needs. 

From comparing plans to managing benefits, we're with you every step of the way, helping you to take command of your health benefits and focus on what you do best - growing your business in the vibrant state of New York. So let's journey together through the landscape of health insurance in the Empire State, and find the best ways to ensure your team's well-being.

Decoding the Health Insurance Scene in New York

As a New York business owner, you're operating in a state known for its progressive stance on health coverage. Indeed, New York is committed to ensuring that its residents have access to comprehensive health insurance options. One key feature that sets New York apart is its own health insurance marketplace – NY State of Health. This vibrant marketplace is your gateway to a multitude of insurance options for families, individuals, and of course, businesses of all sizes.

It's like the Times Square of health insurance – bustling with options and possibilities. You can find various types of plans, including health maintenance organizations (HMOs), preferred provider organizations (PPOs), and point of service (POS) plans, each with their own pros and cons. You'll also find plans with a range of costs, coverage levels, and provider networks. It's all about finding the right fit for your business and your team.

Now, we understand that the breadth of options can feel overwhelming. But, don't fret! A significant part of 'taking command' is understanding the terrain you're navigating. By grasping the specifics of New York's health insurance landscape, you can ensure your business maximizes its health benefits, providing robust coverage that promotes the health and well-being of your team. After all, a healthy team is a productive team, right?

And here's the best part – you're not alone in this journey. Take Command is here to help you make sense of it all. Consider us your trusty GPS, guiding you through the busy intersections of health insurance in New York. Let's explore the exciting terrain of HRAs, especially ICHRAs and QSEHRAs next, shall we?

Want to talk with an expert? {We’re ready when you are!} 

What is a Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA)?

If health insurance were a Broadway show, Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) would be the rising stars. But what exactly is an HRA, and how can it be a game-changer for your business in New York? Let's break it down.

An HRA is a type of account fully funded by employers to reimburse employees for out-of-pocket medical expenses and individual health insurance premiums. It's a bit like having a business expense account, only this one's specifically for healthcare costs. The beauty of HRAs is that the funds provided by the employer are tax-free for both the employer and the employee.

Now, there are different types of HRAs, and in this article, we're focusing on two main types that might be a great fit for your New York business: Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Arrangements (ICHRAs) and Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangements (QSEHRAs).

But why are we spotlighting these two? Well, because they offer flexibility and control, which is perfect for small and medium-sized businesses that want to provide health benefits but also need to keep a close eye on the bottom line. 

In the next sections, we'll dive deeper into ICHRAs and QSEHRAs, explaining how they work, what benefits they offer, and how they can fit into the New York health benefits scene. 

Spotlight on Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Arrangements (ICHRAs) in New York

Step into the spotlight, ICHRAs! Introduced in 2020, these arrangements are the new kids on the block in the world of health benefits. Yet, they've already been making quite a splash. And here's why.

ICHRAs are all about giving you, the employer, and your employees more flexibility and control. Here's how it works: as a business owner, you set a monthly allowance for each employee's health insurance expenses. Your team members then shop for a health plan that suits their personal needs — be it from the NY State of Health marketplace or a private insurer. Once they've paid for their policy, they submit proof of their expenses, and you reimburse them up to the limit of their allowance. It's as simple as that!

Sounds like a win-win, right? You get to manage your health benefits budget more effectively, and your employees get to choose a health plan that's tailored to their needs. It's like letting your team order from a menu rather than serving everyone the same dish. And for the modern business owner with a diverse workforce of all types of employees (full-time, part-time, seasonal, etc.), ICHRA is the ideal solution for health insurance in NY because it’s adaptable, flexible and ready for anything (just like you!) 

But hold your horses! There are certain rules to follow. For instance, you can't offer an ICHRA and a traditional group health plan to the same group of employees. Also, your ICHRA offerings have to be consistent within classes of employees, and there are minimum class size requirements if you have more than 100 employees. And as your partner in HRA administration, Take Command shoulders the responsibility of making sure your business dots the I’s and crosses the T’s. 

{Here’s more about ICHRA rules.}

All in all, ICHRAs can be a powerful tool in your health benefits arsenal, provided you understand their ins and outs. But what if you're a smaller business looking for a simpler, more straightforward solution? That's where QSEHRAs enter the picture. Let's delve into that next!

Exploring Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangements (QSEHRAs) in NY

Now, let's turn our spotlight to QSEHRAs, another standout player in the HRA ensemble. QSEHRAs are specifically designed for small businesses—think businesses with fewer than 50 full-time employees. If you're running a boutique marketing agency in Manhattan, a cozy bakery in Buffalo, or any small enterprise in between, this could be just what you're looking for.

Here's how a QSEHRA works. You, as the employer, allocate a set amount of money each year for your employees to spend on health insurance premiums or other qualified medical expenses. Your employees then pick a health plan and pay for it out-of-pocket. Afterward, they submit their expenses to you for reimbursement, and you reimburse them up to their allowance.

QSEHRAs have a lot in common with ICHRAs. For example, they both offer flexibility and control, allowing your employees to choose a health plan that best meets their needs. However, there's a key difference. QSEHRAs come with an annual contribution cap. For 2023, businesses with less than 50 employees can contribute a maximum of $5,850 for individual employees (this adds up to $487.50 per month) and a contribution of $11,800 for employees with a family (this adds up to $983.33 per month).

What does this mean for you? Well, it means that QSEHRAs offer predictability. You can set your health benefits budget at the start of the year and know that it won't change. It's an option that combines flexibility for your employees with budget control for you—a match made in health benefits heaven!

Comparing ICHRA and QSEHRA in NY 






Any size business can offer

Businesses with fewer than 50 employees

Reimbursement limit

No annual limit, employers set amount

Yes, maximum contribution limit set by IRS

Employee choice

Allows employees to choose a health plan that suits them best

Allows employees to choose a health plan that suits them best

Tax benefits

Employer contributions are tax-free

Employer contributions are tax-free

Health plan type

Employees can choose from any plan on the NY State of Health marketplace

Employees can choose from any plan on the NY State of Health marketplace

Cost control

Helps employers control costs by setting a defined contribution

Helps employers control costs with a capped annual contribution


Alright, now that we've covered the basics of ICHRAs and QSEHRAs, let's talk about how to choose a health insurance plan in New York. 

How ICHRAs and QSEHRAs Work in New York

Now that we've introduced you to the world of ICHRAs and QSEHRAs, you might be wondering, "But how do these HRAs actually work in New York?" Good news – they work quite well indeed!

Let's talk about why. First, we need to appreciate that New York, with its NY State of Health marketplace, provides a robust range of health insurance options for individuals. This extensive array of choices is music to the ears of employees using ICHRAs and QSEHRAs. After all, these HRAs hinge on employees' ability to select a plan that suits them best.

On the business side, ICHRAs and QSEHRAs offer a simple and predictable method of providing health benefits. If you’re a small business, the predictability of a QSEHRA might be particularly attractive. You can set your health benefits budget at the start of the year and know that it won’t change. And if you’re a larger business or one seeking to provide different benefits to different classes of employees, an ICHRA might be just the ticket.

In the next section, we're going to dive into how to select a health insurance plan in New York. This is a crucial decision, and we'll arm you with some tips to make the process smoother. 

Making the Choice: Selecting a Health Insurance Plan in New York

Choosing a health plan — be it for yourself or your employees — is like trying to hit a moving target. You want something that suits your health needs, aligns with your financial capacity, and fits into the broader context of your life or business. But how do you hit that target without making your head spin? Let's break it down.

First up, you've got to consider premiums. These are your monthly payments for your insurance policy. They're the steady drumbeat in the background of your health insurance, and you need to ensure that this drumbeat doesn't turn into a thunderstorm for your wallet.

Next up are your out-of-pocket costs, including deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance. These are costs you have to cover before your insurance starts paying. They can be a bit sneaky, slipping under the radar when you're looking at premiums, but potentially adding up to a substantial amount. So, keep an eye out for them.

Last, but definitely not least, consider the provider network. Does the plan cover your preferred doctors and hospitals? Health care is personal, and you want to make sure you can continue seeing providers you trust.

These are a lot of moving targets, and an ever-changing game (to say the least). It’s no wonder employers dread thinking about employee health insurance in NY. Wish there was an easier way? There is! 

Now, this is where ICHRAs and QSEHRAs come into play. They add a layer of flexibility by allowing your employees to choose a health plan that fits best. Want a higher premium but lower out-of-pocket costs? Go for it. Want to stick with a particular provider network? The choice is theirs. This flexibility can be a game-changer in making health insurance more personalized and effective. And it takes the burden off of you, the employer. Rather than just transferring the burden, it’s actually empowering your employees. 

In New York, there's an abundance of individual health insurance options available. You can find a multitude of plans on the NY State of Health marketplace, from comprehensive coverage to catastrophic plans. Plus, the state also offers programs like Medicaid, Child Health Plus, and the Essential Plan for those who qualify. 

Your employees get to choose the plan they want, and you get to still be a winner by reimbursing them for eligible medical expenses (including premiums) while relieving yourself of the head-spinning game of health insurance in NY.  But with a good understanding of your needs and options, and tools like Take Command's plan comparison tool, you can make that decision with confidence. Speaking of Take Command, let's look at how they can assist you in navigating health benefits in New York in the next section!

The Role of Take Command in New York Health Insurance 

Alright, now that your head has stopped spinning, let’s sit down and talk about how your trusted HRA administrator can help you navigate the scene of health insurance in NY. Whether you're an individual trying to find the perfect health plan, or a business owner considering setting up an ICHRA or QSEHRA, we can help. 

You deserve to be in control of your health benefits, which is why our platform offers an array of tools and resources designed to do just that. We guide you through your options, helping you understand the nitty-gritty details of health plans available in New York. But we don’t stop there—we’re also there to support businesses as they set up and manage their ICHRAs or QSEHRAs. 

Our health plan search tool simplifies the process of comparing different plans, taking into account factors like premiums, out-of-pocket costs, and provider networks. This helps you or your employees choose a plan that aligns with your health needs and financial situation.

For businesses, our comprehensive HRA administration platform takes the headache out of managing ICHRAs and QSEHRAs. It ensures compliance with regulations, handles tax documentation, and provides an intuitive dashboard to manage employee reimbursements.

And remember, Take Command is more than just a platform—we're a team. Need help setting up your HRA? We’re on it. Have a question about a particular health plan? Just ask. We're here to help you navigate the health benefits landscape in New York, every step of the way.

In the next section, we'll take a look at the future of health insurance, ICHRAs, and QSEHRAs in New York. The landscape of health benefits is ever-changing, and we want to make sure you're prepared for what's to come. 

Forecast of Health Insurance Trends in New York

As we gaze into the crystal ball of health insurance, we see a continued trend towards more flexible and personalized health benefit options in New York. These include the likes of ICHRAs and QSEHRAs, which offer a balance of control for employers and choice for employees.

What does this mean for you? Well, if you're a business owner, you might want to consider whether these options could work for your team. If you're an individual, you could potentially have more control over your health coverage than ever before. Staying informed about these trends can help you make strategic decisions about your health benefits. 

Just remember, the landscape of health insurance is ever-evolving. Laws change. New options become available. But no matter what the future holds, understanding your options and making informed decisions is key. And that's something that never goes out of style. 

Taking Command of Your Health Benefits in New York

Well, we've come to the end of our journey. We've navigated the twists and turns of health benefits in New York, explored the nooks and crannies of ICHRAs and QSEHRAs, and even took a glimpse into the future. But remember, understanding health benefits is not a one-time event — it's an ongoing process. 

As we mentioned earlier, being informed is your superpower when it comes to health benefits. Understanding the basics of health insurance, knowing your options, and staying updated on trends can make a huge difference. It can help you make decisions that fit your health needs, your financial capacity, and your business goals. 

But don't worry, you're not alone in this. Take Command is here to help. Whether you have questions about a health plan, need assistance setting up an ICHRA or QSEHRA, or just want to chat about health benefits, we've got you covered. 

So why not take the first step? Contact us today, and let's take command of your health benefits journey together. New York, here we come!

{Talk to an HRA expert today}


Let's talk through your HRA questions

Fill out the form below to connect with our team and see if an HRA is a good fit.