A benefit plan administrator says small and midsize employers can still replace group health plans with individual-policy-based programs without violating the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).
American Health Resources says it has found a PPACA-compliant way for employers to use personal accounts to help workers choose and pay for their own health benefits packages.
Officials at the “tri agencies” — U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the U.S. Treasury Department and the U.S. Labor Department — have teamed up to oppose some strategies employers might use to replace traditional group health plans with efforts to encourage employees to buy their own individual coverage.
In September 2013, for example, the Labor Department said a stand-alone health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) program used to help workers pay for individual coverage would be subject to the PPACA group health plan requirements. The HRA would, for example, would have to offer unlimited annual and lifetime benefits, department officials said.