Proposed Regulation on Health Reimbursement Arrangements Released

Filed in Labor, Safety and Health by on October 24, 2018 0 Comments

The Departments of Treasury, Health and Human Services, and Labor yesterday proposed a new regulation that expands the effectiveness of health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) to help employees pay for health insurance. The new proposal would allow HRAs to be used to cover the cost of health insurance premiums. Medical expense reimbursements from HRAs are tax-preferred, providing a similar tax advantage as employer-sponsored insurance coverage.

NAHB led the fight for Congress to reinstate HRAs in 2016, which help home building firms and other small businesses provide health benefits to their employees. Most small companies do not have human resource departments or benefits specialists. HRAs offer these businesses a simpler way to help their employees obtain health coverage.

But excessive regulations made it difficult for some small businesses to offer HRAs to their employees. NAHB continued to push the Administration to expand the access to HRAs. Last fall NAHB Chair Randy Noel attended the signing of President Trump’s executive order to ease restrictions on association health plans and HRAs. This executive order helped pave the way for the proposed HRA regulation.

The new proposal also allows employers that offer traditional health insurance to also offer an HRA up to $1,800 to cover other qualified medical expenses.

Due to significant costs, many employers cannot afford to offer health insurance coverage for their employees. If finalized, the rule will expand opportunities for employers to offer benefits to their employees.

NAHB will continue to remain engaged during the rulemaking process. For more information, contact Alexis Moch at 800-368-5242 x8407.



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