United Benefit Advisors Insight and Analysis Blog

Tri-Agency Proposed Rule on Health Reimbursement Arrangements

Posted by: Karen Hsu    Nov 1, 2018 1:37:24 PM

The Department of the Treasury (Treasury), Department of Labor (DOL), and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) (collectively, the Departments) released their proposed rule regarding health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) and other account-based group health plans. The DOL also issued a news release and fact sheet on the proposed rule.

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Topics: HRAs, HRA, Qualified Small Employer HRA, QSE HRA, Compliance Advisor

Choosing the Right Flexible Benefit for Employees

Posted by: Blake London    Oct 25, 2018 12:56:25 PM

Trying to decide which of the many employer-sponsored benefits out there to offer employees can leave an employer feeling lost in a confusing bowl of alphabet soup—HSA? FSA? DCAP? HRA? What does it mean if a benefit is “limited” or “post-deductible”? Which one is use-it-or-lose-it? Which one has a rollover? What are the limits on each benefit?—and so on.

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Topics: Flexible Benefits, HRA, FSA, HSA, employee benefit plans

Why some companies offer an HRA

Posted by: Elizabeth Kay    May 18, 2017 9:30:00 AM

In a world of insurance and acronyms, the term “HRA” is thrown around a lot, but it has a variety of meanings.

HRA can mean health reimbursement account, heath reimbursement arrangement, or health risk assessment, and all of those mean something different. I want to be clear that in the following article I am going to be discussing the use of health reimbursement accounts with fully-insured health plans. We can leave the other meanings of HRA for another time.

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Topics: health reimbursement account, HRA, employee benefit trends, UBA Health Plan Survey

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

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

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