Employers Are Cautiously Studying Move to ICHRAs

Health care industry insiders say that employers of all sizes are beginning to take a serious look at moving some of their health benefits to Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Arrangements (ICHRAs) starting in 2022. However, ICHRAs face a somewhat uncertain future with the incoming Biden administration, and some experts aren’t convinced that they presently offer plan sponsors enough value to entice large numbers of firms to move away from traditional employer-sponsored insurance plans.

In July 2019, the Trump administration finalized new regulations for ICHRAs, giving employers greater flexibility to reimburse qualifying employees for buying their own health insurance policies (HPW 7/1/19, p. 1). According to HealthCare.gov, employers can “offer certain types of employees a traditional group health plan and other types of employees an individual coverage HRA,” but “can’t offer the same type of employees a choice between a traditional group health plan and an individual coverage HRA.”

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Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson

Peter has worked as a journalist since 2011 and has covered health care since 2020. At AIS Health, Peter covers trends in finance, business and policy that affect the health insurance and pharma sectors. For Health Plan Weekly, he covers all aspects of the U.S. health insurance sector, including employer-sponsored insurance, Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage and the Affordable Care Act individual marketplaces. In Radar on Drug Benefits, Peter covers the operations of (and conflicts between) pharmacy benefit managers and pharmaceutical manufacturers, with a particular focus on pricing dynamics and market access. Before joining AIS Health, Peter covered transportation, public safety and local government for various outlets in Seattle, his hometown and current place of residence. He graduated with a B.A. from Colby College.

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