Hard Time Deciding Between Group Health Insurance & an HRA?

With health care costs on the rise every year, from prescription to over-the-counter medications, to copays, and to insurance premiums, there is no end in sight.  When health care expenses are costly, not only do the employees feel the impact financially, but so does the employer who offers health benefits. 

Employers are weighing the pros and cons of offering a traditional group health plan and having a hard time deciding on continuing to offer a group health plan or offering a health reimbursement arrangement.

The best news?  Employers do not have to choose!  And we know what employers might be thinking…”its going to be more expensive to offer BOTH options to our employees…” but it will actually save the employer AND employee!

The BASE® Integrated HRA allows employers with a group health plan in place to reduce the overall cost of health insurance premiums and assist employees with health care expenses not covered by health insurance. 

With the flexible design of the BASE® Integrated HRA, any employer can take advantage of its tax savings by coupling it with a group health plan, helping to suppress the yearly increases associated with traditional forms of health care.  The Integrated HRA helps to cut health care costs and has been proven to reduce health insurance premium increases by 10-50%. 

Employers can choose to raise the deductible on the current group health plan, reducing the overall cost of the insured plan, couple the plan with the BASE® Integrated HRA, and self-insure a portion of the deductible to keep the employee responsibility maintainable.  Funds are protected by only being paid to the employee when a qualifying expense has been adjudicated by BASE® with no prefunding necessary.  Employers now have better control over the cost of their overall group health plan they offer and if they choose to change group health plans, the Integrated HRA is portable and will work with any carrier, health insurance plan, or group benefit plan.                                              

Employees do not have to prefund this HRA and will receive reimbursements as non-reportable and non-taxable income.  Employees now have additional funds to pay for the health care expenses that are not covered by the insurance. 

For employers who want to continue offering a group health plan but see valuable savings each year, the Integrated HRA is more than just a product from BASE®, it’s an approach to affordable health care where employers don’t have to decide.  Contact BASE® at 888.386.9680 or visit www.BASEonline.com.

The Newer “Kid” on the HRA Block

One of the newest Health Reimbursement Arrangements to hit the block is the Excepted Benefit HRA (EBHRA).  Starting in 2020, this HRA has helped push past the “one-size-fits-all” health benefits package to give employees more options in designing how their health care benefits work for them. 

The Excepted Benefit HRA (EBHRA) is a tax-advantaged Health Reimbursement Arrangement that allows employers to reimburse their employees for their excepted benefits that is offered alongside a group health plan. 

The BASE® EBHRA is a limited dollar HRA that allows employees to pay for their copays, deductibles, prescriptions, dental and vision insurance premiums, COBRA continuation coverage, and short-term limited duration insurance premiums. 

Here are some things to know about the EBHRA: 

Maximum Contribution Rates: 

  • For 2024, the maximum contribution rate is $2,100. 


  • The employer must offer the group health plan but the employee does not have to participate in it to participate in the EBHRA.
  • The EBRHA must be offered on the same terms and conditions to all eligible employees.
  • The employer cannot offer above the IRS maximum contribution limit.
  • The EBHRA cannot reimburse premiums for individual health coverage.

 How it Works: 

  • Employer will choose to offer the EBHRA and set an amount that falls within the employer’s budget and the legal limits and also designate which expenses are deemed qualified for reimbursement.
  • The employee will enroll in the EBHRA.
  • The employee will incur an EBHRA-eligible expense and submit a claim for reimbursement.
  • The employer will reimburse all valid claims.

 Other Health Benefits Compatibility:  The EBHRA cannot be offered in conjunction with the Individual Coverage HRA (ICHRA) but can be offered to those employees who participate in the employer-sponsored group health plan and/or Health Savings Account (HSA).  

The BASE® EBHRA might be the newer “kid” on the HRA block, but it is another innovative and cost-effective way to provide health benefits to employees that provides more than just savings to both employer and employee.  Contact BASE® at 888.386.9680 or visit www.BASEonline.com.