A diverse group of insurance carriers, brokerage firms, benefits consultants and health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) administrators of announced the formation of the HRA Council, a non-partisan advocacy group. Friday Health Plans, HealthOne Alliance, LLC., OneBridge Benefits, OneDigital, Take Command Health, Vericred, and more industry leaders form non-partisan, a non-profit coalition to educate and advise on a new model of employee benefits aiming to boost employee choice and control.
- Promote Knowledge: The council’s mission is to promote education and awareness around two new models of health reimbursement arrangements—the Individual Coverage HRA (ICHRA) and the Qualified Small Employer HRA—and build upon them to improve the stability, choice and affordability of health insurance for consumers.
- Enhance Employment: “I am thrilled to be working with this group of visionary industry leaders. Defined contribution is the future of employer involvement in health insurance and will allow more employers to support ACA-compliant coverage for uninsured working Americans, especially in states like Texas with millions uninsured. It’s truly a win-win-win for employers, employees and providers of care”, said Ken Janda, interim executive director of the HRA Council, former CEO of a non-profit health plan in Houston, and founder of Wild Blue Health Solutions.
- Expansion of coverage: The goal of the council is to expand coverage by creating a vibrant market for defined contribution models, easing employers’ ability to offer HRAs and employees’ ability to use an HRA to enroll in health coverage. The council will educate employers and policymakers, work towards industry standards, share collective industry research, and advocate for HRA-friendly regulations.
- Reimbursements : Account-based health coverage like ICHRAs and QSEHRAs allow employers to reimburse their employees for health insurance with tax-preferred contributions. They substantially expand employers’ ability to offer health coverage to their workers and increase plan options for employees. These options will reduce the number of people without health insurance by an estimated 800,000, with a total of 11 million workers receiving coverage through an ICHRA in the next five years.
- Cost-effective coverage: “As a health insurer, we’re seeing more and more interest from employers in offering HRAs to their employees. HRAs give employers more control over their costs and allows them to hand over the purchasing decisions to their employees, something employers have been wanting to do for a long time,” said Cathy Mahaffey, CEO of Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative. “We’re thrilled to be an inaugural member of the HRA Council and look forward to contributing to this important work.”