Offering an Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Arrangement (ICHRA)1 may just be for you. ICHRA allows businesses to reimburse their employees with pretax dollars to cover the cost of individual health insurance premiums and qualified medical expenses.
Not only does an ICHRA fit any budget, it’s also easy to set up and manage.
Choose how much and how often you contribute
Each employee can choose their own coverage
Qualified plans are tax-free for you and your employees2
Available for businesses of all sizes
At a high level, the way Individual Coverage HRAs (ICHRAs) work is fairly simple. Employers reimburse their employees for health insurance rather than buying it for them.
More specifically, this is what that process would look like:
There are several differences between ICHRA vs group health plans. While they both meet the Employer Mandate, boost retention and recruitment efforts, and check all the box on offering employee health benefits, understanding the difference and what that means to an employer and an employee is crucial.
The key differences boil down to:
Yes! That’s part of the appeal. ICHRAs allow employers to offer benefits to different types, or classes, or employees. That includes classes that might typically be difficult to ensure, like part-time or remote workers.
Yes, HRAs can be a great alternative to traditional group benefits. So great, they have us saying no more!
Set a budget, design your ICHRA to best meet the needs of your workforce, and sit back and relax. Your employees will enroll in health insurance plans on their own and an HRA administrator will issue monthly reports and keep you compliant.
If you’re used to a group medical plan from your employer, you probably have had to choose between a couple of options in the past that may or may not have had your preferred doctors in network or adequate prescription coverage. Instead of that one-size-fits-all approach where your employer is essentially making health choices for you, ICHRA brings more autonomy and choice for you. Instead of just a couple of plans that don’t fit your needs, you can choose from the entire individual health insurance marketplace, filled with brand-name carriers you know and innovative features like free telehealth or zero-dollar deductible plans. All of these are ACA compliant, high-quality plans that cover pre-existing conditions and essential health benefits. The best part is finding a plan that meets your family’s needs and not having your health plan tied to your employment.
One of the great things about ICHRAs is that it’s one of two kinds of HRAs that can be used to reimburse for premiums. But employers have even greater flexibility to be generous with their teams by reimbursing for medical expenses as well. Qualified medical expenses for an ICHRA are those that would be eligible for reimbursement under a typical HSA or FSA—Amazon even notes which healthcare items are an eligible healthcare expense on its site. Eligible expenses for ICHRAs also include deductibles, copayments, coinsurance, or out-of-pocket costs as well as vision and dental premiums and associated costs, prescription drugs, feminine hygiene products, and over the counter drugs. The list of HRA eligible medical expenses is determined by the IRS in IRS Publication 502.
The monthly reimbursement allowance of ICHRA is not considered income and is therefore not taxed as such. It is not subject to income tax for employees or employer tax or payroll tax for employers. This is one of the big perks of this tax-advantaged health benefits solution!
Absolutely. Offering an ICHRA to employees meets the employer mandate set forth in the Affordable Care Act for companies with more than 50 full time equivalent employees. What’s more, the individual health insurance plans that integrate with ICHRA are high quality, ACA-compliant health plans that cover preexisting conditions and ten essential health benefits directed by the ACA.