What You Need to Know
- The new HRA Council also includes many HRA administrators.
- Ken Janda, the former CEO of a Houston-based health insurer, is the interim council CEO.
- One goal will be promotion of the ICHRA and QSEHRA concepts.
A new HRA Council held its first meeting Friday, and the founding member list could give hints about which insurers have the strongest interest in the commercial individual major medical insurance market.
Organizers of the Washington-based group say it will be a non-partisan, nonprofit coalition that will promote awareness of health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs), help develop HRA standards, share HRA research, and work to shape HRA regulations.
In the past, an HRA was a mechanism that an employer could use to provide cash that employees could use to handle out-of-pocket medical costs, such as deductibles, co-payments and payments for medicine, crutches and wheelchairs.
The HRA program is older than the better-known health savings account program. Employees do not own the HRA value, the way they own the assets inside an HSA, but they can combine an HRA with health coverage at any deductible level. HSA holders must combine their HSAs with high-deductible health coverage.
Now, employers also can use HRAs to give employees cash that the employees can use to pay for their own individual or family major medical coverage: the qualified small employer health reimbursement arrangement (QSEHRA) and the individual coverage health reimbursement arrangement (ICHRA).
The QSEHRA: Congress included a provision creating the QSEHRA in the 21st Century Cures Act of 2016. An employer with fewer than 50 full-time equivalent employees can use a QSEHRA program to provide cash for coverage. The 2021 employer contribution limits are $5,300 for individuals and $10,700 for families.
The ICHRA: Officials in the Trump administration created the ICHRA program. The ICHRA program regulations give employers of any size the ability to provide any amount of cash that employees can use to pay for their own individual or family health coverage. One challenge for would-be ICHRA sponsors is that the program includes many rules meant to keep employers from discriminating against older or sicker employees.
The HRA Council
Ken Janda, the former CEO of Community Health Choice Inc., a Houston-based health insurer, is the interim CEO of the HRA Council.
The companies with logos on the company’s homepage are HealthOne, Flyte Human Capital Management, Friday Health Plans, Wild Blue Health Solutions, Vericred, Take Command Health, the National Federation of Independent Business, OneBridge for Your Benefit, NexBen, The ICHRA Shop, Benefit Comply and OneDigital.