CAHC Praises Proposed Rule Expanding HRAs

WASHINGTON, DC (October 23, 2018): The Council for Affordable Health Coverage (CAHC)  – a coalition of employers, insurers, life science companies, PBMs, brokers, agents, patient groups, and physician organizations – lauded the Trump administration's proposed rule today expanding the use of health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs). 

The proposal would effectively extend the tax-preferred treatment of traditional employer group insurance to HRA reimbursements of individual market insurance premiums, expanding workers' choices in coverage options and allowing up to 10 million employees to benefit from HRAs once fully implemented, per Treasury Department estimates. 

The proposed rule would further enhance coverage options by allowing HRAs to be used toward the purchase of a health insurance plan on or off the Obamacare markets. CAHC has long fought to allow more consumers to shop off-exchange for coverage that best suits their needs, including leading the effort in favor of portability for Obamacare premium tax credits.

CAHC President Joel White released the following statement:

"Expanding health plan choices for workers is at the heart of CAHC's mission and we are pleased to see this goal reflected in today's proposal," said CAHC President Joel White"CAHC supports this rule because we trust informed consumers to make coverage decisions that suit their needs and their pocketbooks, instead of being relegated to a one-size-fits-all plan. By loosening the reins on HRAs and allowing these savings tools to deliver greater benefit to more people, the administration is injecting choice into a market that urgently needs it. This proposal offers relief for workers who may have previously faced a choice between an unaffordable on-exchange plan or no coverage at all, and it accomplishes this while upholding a commitment to workers with pre-existing conditions. CAHC thanks the administration for its dedicated work on this proposed solution that will do right by employers and workers alike." 

As longtime proponents of HRAs as a means of expanding affordable health care options for workers, CAHC led the successful fight to include language in the 21st Century Cures law (Section 18001) overturning a sorely misguided 2014 IRS rule that would have levied fines of up to $500,000 per employer on small businesses offering HRA plans. 

The proposed rule racks up another win for CAHC's advocacy efforts, following yesterday's guidance on state ACA waivers. 

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About the Council for Affordable Health Coverage
The Council for Affordable Health Coverage (CAHC) is a broad-based alliance with a primary focus: bringing down the cost of health care for all Americans. CAHC promotes policies that lower health costs through increased competition, informed consumers and more choices. Learn more at CAHC.net