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Check Out the Starting Lineup for Health Reimbursement Arrangements for 2020

Team HRA is looking good going into the 2020 season.  With 2 NEW additions to the lineup, small businesses will have the options to control their business’ budget while being able to offer a formal benefit to their employees.

A Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) is a tool for small business owners to increase their tax savings and to offer tax-free health benefits.  An HRA may reimburse for qualified medical expenses such as co-pays, deductibles, and health insurance premiums.

Health Reimbursement Arrangements have always been a great teammate for businesses that have struggled defending off the rising cost in health care, bringing into play group health insurance, and scoring the benefits package their employees deserve at a low cost.  As access to better benefit packages expands, more and more businesses can consider HRAs as a viable option.

After the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the HRAs have reentered the health care arena as a serious team player for small businesses.  At this point in the season, it is a great time to look forward to what’s in store for 2020.

Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) are available in 2020 -

  • The BASE® Section 105 HRA is available for small business owners to deduct up-to 100% of health care costs including individual insurance premiums and qualified out-of-pocket medical expenses. It was designed to assist with health care expenses and provide clients, on average, over $5,000 in savings. 
  • The BASE® Integrated HRA is available for employers with a group health insurance plan in place looking to reduce the overall cost of insurance coverage. It gives employers the flexibility to help their employees pay for medical expenses not covered by health insurance, further enhancing and expanding the benefit plan.  The Integrated HRA has been proven to reduce a client’s health insurance premium increases by 10-50%.        
  • The BASE® Qualified Small Employer HRA is available to help employers offer their employees a more attractive benefits package without providing a group health plan. Employees secure their own medical insurance on or off the Marketplace.  Employers help their employees pay for qualified medical coverage, tax-free, such as insurance premiums, co-pays, deductibles, eye care, dental care, or any other qualified health care expense.

Adding to the already great HRA lineup…

  • The BASE® Individual Coverage HRA is available to employers looking to provide an alternative when it comes to providing health benefits. It allows employers the opportunity to reimburse their employees for their individually purchased insurance.  This type of plan provides health benefits to better fit the needs of many businesses and can help to cut costs without reducing value when it comes to providing those health benefits to employees. 
  • The BASE® Excepted Benefit HRA is available to employers of all sizes to use tax-free dollars to reimburse employee out-of-pocket medical expenses and non-insured medical expenses, such as copays, deductibles, prescriptions, dental and vision insurance premiums, COBRA, and short-term limited duration insurance premiums. This tax-savings plan is available to employers who offer group health insurance, but employees do not have to be enrolled to participate.  The EBHRA expands the employer’s benefit package and gives employees an additional $1,800 tax-free to apply towards their qualifying elected benefits.

So what can we expect for 2020?  The HRA will still be a great option for businesses committed to providing health benefits to their employees while looking to control health care costs.  With 3 strong BASE® HRAs on the roster, and two NEW HRAs entering the lineup, 2020 is setting up to help thousands of businesses.  Call BASE® at 888.386.9680 to get started TODAY! 

Tips on How to Save on Health Care Costs

According to a Kaiser Family Foundation report, more than 25% of adults in the US struggle to keep up with their medical bills.  That figure includes employees WITH health insurance.  The problem has gotten so bad, that medical debt is now the #1 source of personal bankruptcy filings.

The cost of health care is continually on the rise, so it is important that both the employer and the employee learn how to take steps to cut costs without sacrificing benefits.  Both share a common goal:  lowering health care costs, but what can each of them do?

Here are a few tips the EMPLOYER can use to help save on health care costs:

  • Consumer-Driven Health Plans – incorporate a consumer-driven health plan, such as the BASE® Health Reimbursement Arrangement or any of the options available through the BASE® 125 Cafeteria Plans. An HRA and FSA offer cost-savings for the employer, but also benefits the employees. 
  • Education – with proper education from the employer, employees can become smarter health care consumers, saving both parties money.  Educate employees during Open Enrollment; provide easy-to-understand insurance material, etc. 
  • Have an Expert Available – Having a company on hand, like BASE®, to implement the right benefits plan for their business, the employer will know that they are receiving the best options and saving the most money.

Here are a few tips the EMPLOYEES can use to help save on health care costs:

  • Preventative Care – stay on the healthy track! Take advantage of preventative care such as annual exams or “well baby” checkups.  Most, if not all, preventative care is free under all plans in network.  These tests can catch health problems early, when they may be more easily treated. 
  • Take Care of that Body – Choose to create healthy habits – eat right, exercise regularly, stop smoking, just to name a few. Adopting a healthy lifestyle can help save money on prescription drugs and frequent doctor visits due to chronic illnesses. 
  • Choose the Right Benefits – enroll in a company’s Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) and Flexible Spending Account (FSA). Use the pre-tax money towards health insurance, co-pays, deductibles, prescriptions, dental, and vision.  Employees will see an increase in take-home pay and won’t have to worry about setting aside extra money in a savings account on their own.

Don’t get hurt by health care costs.  It pays for employers and employees to explore their options for lowering their medical costs, and not just for the actual savings but for the peace of mind that comes with knowing health care wont drive them, or their business, into debt.

With US workers spending $7,685 a year on health care, according to Bank of America’s Workplace Benefits report, finding strategies to reduce health care costs is a worthwhile venture – both for the organization as a whole and the employees who keep it running day in and day out.  For more information on how a business can lower their health care costs, call BASE® at 888.386.9680.