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Proposed rule would alter health reimbursement account regulations

The Trump Administration this week proposed a new rule that would allow employers to offer employees tax-preferred health reimbursement accounts (HRA) as an alternative to traditional health insurance.

The rule is intended to provide businesses a way to support their employees’ healthcare expenses without requiring employers to shoulder the administrative and financial burdens of offering health plans.

HRAs have been a fixture of employer-based health plans, often as a supplement to existing employer-based insurance. Under the proposed rule, HRAs could be used to satisfy the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate, as employers could direct HRA funds to help pay for employee coverage on the individual insurance market. The rule also creates an option for employees to use HRA funds to pay for premiums for a short-term limited duration plan (up to a total of $1,800 per year), provided that the employer also offers a group plan that is not an HRA.

The Administration estimates that 800,000 employers will use HRAs as a way to provide coverage for approximately 10 million employees. See this Fact Sheet for more information.

The Wisconsin Medical Society will prepare and offer comments on proposal. Contact H.J. Waukau, manager of advocacy and regulatory affairs if you have questions.

Back to October 25, 2018 Medigram