United Benefit Advisors Insight and Analysis Blog

Top 3 Frequently Asked Questions about Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangements

Posted by: Danielle Capilla    Nov 22, 2017 9:30:00 AM

On December 13, 2016, President Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act (Cures Act) into law. The Cures Act provides a method for certain small employers to reimburse individual health coverage premiums up to a dollar limit through HRAs called "Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangements" (QSE HRAs). The provision went into effect on January 1, 2017. On October 31, 2017, the IRS released Notice 2017-67, providing guidance on the implementation and administration of QSE HRAs.

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Topics: health reimbursement arrangements, Affordable Care Act, 21st Century Cures Act, Qualified Small Employer HRA, QSE HRA

October 2017 Executive Order on Healthcare

Posted by: Danielle Capilla    Oct 13, 2017 10:59:15 AM

On October 12, 2017, the White House released an Executive Order, signed by President Trump, titled "Promoting Healthcare Choice and Competition Across the United States."

It is important to note that the Executive Order (EO) does not implement any new laws or regulations, but instead directs various federal agencies to explore options relating to association health plans, short term limited-duration coverage (STLDI), and health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs), within the next 60 to 120 days.

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Topics: ACA, health reimbursement arrangements, Affordable Care Act, association health plans

Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangements and ERISA

Posted by: Danielle Capilla    Jun 1, 2017 9:30:00 AM

Certain small employers have the option to reimburse individual health coverage premiums up to a dollar limit through Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangements (QSE HRAs) under the 21st Century Cures Act (Cures Act).

The Cures Act amends the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) to exclude QSE HRAs from the ERISA definition of group health plan; however, the Cures Act does not specifically exclude QSE HRAs from the rest of ERISA.

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Topics: health reimbursement arrangements, 21st Century Cures Act, Qualified Small Employer HRA, QSE HRA

HSAs vs. HRAs: Things Employers Should Consider

Posted by: Bob Bentley    May 12, 2017 4:00:52 PM

With health care costs and insurance premiums continuing to rise, employers are looking for ways to reduce their insurance expenses. That usually means increasing medical plan deductibles. According to the latest UBA Health Plan Survey, the average in-network single medical plan deductible increased from $2,031 in 2015 to $2,127 in 2016. But shifting costs to employees can be detrimental to an employer’s efforts to attract and retain top talent. Employers are looking for solutions that reduce their costs while minimizing the impact on employees.

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Topics: health reimbursement arrangements, health savings accounts, HRA, HSA, UBA Health Plan Survey, health care benchmarking

FAQ on HIPAA Special Enrollment; QSE HRAs Released

Posted by: Danielle Capilla    Feb 8, 2017 9:53:35 AM

Recently, the Department of Labor (DOL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Treasury (collectively, the Departments) issued FAQs About Affordable Care Act Implementation Part 35. The FAQ covers a new HIPAA special enrollment period, an update on women's preventive services that must be covered, and clarifying information on qualifying small employer health reimbursement arrangements (QSE HRAs).

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Topics: HIPAA, group health insurance, health reimbursement arrangements, HRA, Danielle Capilla, 21st Century Cures Act, Qualified Small Employer HRA, benefits enrollment, women's preventive services

Implications of the 21st Century Cures Act

Posted by: Danielle Capilla    Feb 1, 2017 9:30:00 PM

On December 13, 2016, former President Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act into law. The Cures Act has numerous components, but employers should be aware of the impact the Act will have on the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, as well as provisions that will impact how small employers can use health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs). There will also be new guidance for permitted uses and disclosures of protected health information (PHI) under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). We review the implications with HRAs below; for a discussion of all the implications, view UBA’s Compliance Advisor, “21st Century Cares Act”.

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Topics: ACA, premium subsidies, health reimbursement arrangements, HRA, Affordable Care Act, health care cost, 21st Century Cures Act, Qualified Small Employer HRA, insurance premium reimbursement

UBA Survey Reveals Industry Differences in Health Savings Accounts

Posted by: Bill Olson    Mar 11, 2016 12:00:00 PM

We recently took a look nationwide at the best and worst health savings accounts (HSAs) for singles and families. When you slice the UBA survey data by industry, some big differences emerge there as well.

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Topics: health care costs, health reimbursement arrangements, health savings accounts, HRA, HSA, account-based plans

Best and Worst Health Savings Accounts for Singles, Families

Posted by: Bill Olson    Mar 1, 2016 12:00:00 PM

We’ve just released the latest findings from the UBA Health Plan Survey related to how health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) and health savings accounts (HSAs) are being used among employers. (Spoiler alert: California employers lead the way with the most generous account-based plans.)

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Topics: health savings account, health reimbursement arrangements, HRA, HSA, UBA Health Plan Survey

HRAs, HSAs, and Health FSAs – What's the Difference?

Posted by: Danielle Capilla    Feb 19, 2016 4:55:25 PM

Health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs), health savings accounts (HSAs) and health care flexible spending accounts (HFSAs) are generally referred to as account-based plans. That is because each participant has their own account, at least for bookkeeping purposes. Under the tax rules, amounts may be contributed to these accounts (with certain restrictions) and used for health care on a tax-favored basis.

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Topics: health plan benchmarking, PPACA Affordable Care Act, health savings account, health reimbursement arrangements, HRA, HSA, UBA 2014 Health Plan Survey, health care flexible spending account, health plan cost trends, HFSA

Minimum Value: HRA Contributions and Flex Credits

Posted by: Danielle Capilla    Feb 9, 2016 12:00:00 PM

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued a final rule that clarifies various topics relating to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and premium tax credit eligibility provisions. Mirroring guidance from IRS Notice 2015-87, the final rule clarifies that health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) contributions by an employer that may be used to pay premiums for an eligible employer sponsored plan are counted toward the employee's required contribution, subsequently reducing the amount required for their contribution.

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Topics: ACA, PPACA Affordable Care Act, IRS, health reimbursement arrangements, HRA, Premium Tax Credits, Danielle Capilla