How to Get Started with the ICHRA

The NEW ICHRA has created a lot of buzz lately, and BASE® has begun working with employers to see if this new HRA, set to go into effect on January 1, 2020, is right for their business.  The ICHRA is for businesses of all sizes that are looking for different options outside of standard group health insurance. But with all of this new information coming out, where does a business start?  Start with BASE®!

The BASE® Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Arrangement (ICHRA) allows employers the opportunity to increase flexibility and employee choice by designing a reimbursement plan for their employees individually purchased health insurance.  The ICHRA will integrate with individual health insurance to provide business owners with a great alternative when it comes to providing health benefits.  It is a viable means for an employer to provide some level of employer-provided health benefit.

This HRA may be new and sound intimidating, but signing up with the BASE® ICHRA is easy. 

  1. Eligibility.  Who’s eligible?  Decide which employees will be eligible and what kind of benefit they will receive.  Divide employees into classes including full time, part time, seasonal, employees working abroad, employees in a waiting period, employees working under a collective bargaining agreement, employees working outside the geographical area of the business, salaried employees, hourly employees, temporary employees, or a combination. 
  2. Employee Allowances. How much do employees get?  Determine how much employees will receive for reimbursement of their premium costs and medical expenses.  There are no minimum contribution requirements or maximum contribution caps. 
  3. Start Date. When does the plan start?  Most companies opt to do Open Enrollment on the calendar year, but with the ICHRA, there are special enrollment periods so that employees can find their individual market insurance outside of the Open Enrollment dates.      
  4. Communications.  What do the employees need to know?  The new ICHRA is new to the business and to the employees too.  BASE® will make sure all employees know the particulars of the ICHRA.   

This type of plan provides a health benefit to better fit the needs of many businesses, and helps to streamline benefit options and cut costs without reducing value when it comes to health benefits for employees.  For the employer, the ICHRA is available to employers of any size, they are able to attract and retain employees with an increased benefits package, deduct 100% of reimbursements as a business expense, save money on not having to provide a traditional health care plan to any or all of their employees, and have peace of mind knowing BASE® is handling their plan administration.  For the employees, the ICHRA will help them have additional money to combat the continuous rise in health care, have non-taxable reimbursements, pick the individual health insurance that is just right for them, and have an easier way to get reimbursed for their health care expenses.

BASE® will work step-by-step with the business to set up the ICHRA and help the business successfully make the most out of the new ICHRA.  Who’s ready to be a part of this new and exciting change in HRAs?  Call BASE® at 888-386-9680 to get started TODAY!

Back-to-School with FSA

August can be a busy month for many families getting back into their regular Back-to-School routine.  But just as school supplies, new clothes, and sporting equipment are important to start off the new school year, so is planning ahead to use end-of-year Flexible Spending Account (FSA) funds.  Use up the pre-tax benefit dollars by spending them on common health care expenses that come up in the fall.  The FSA can provide a source of financial relief for the must-have items every family needs to stay healthy during the Back-to-School season.

Fall is one of the best times to get yearly checkups done and paid for by using FSA dollars.  Check out a few below:

  • Yearly & Sports Physicals – make it a habit to keep up these standard checkups for all family members. Keeping all members of the family healthy is important.  For kids heading back to school or getting ready to play sports, these annual exams are necessary to assess their health and physical well-being, while building up their medical history and gathering the paperwork needed to ensure that they are up-to-date on state-required vaccines. 
  • Dental Exams & Orthodontia – taking good care of oral health is important, but can be expensive. Use FSA dollars to help alleviate the burden of paying for dental exams, braces, bridges, and other forms of orthodontia for growing kids. 
  • Eye Exams & Corrective Eyewear – another great checkup for all family members are eye exams. Having a hard time seeing can hinder a child’s learning or a parent’s work performance.  Along with the eye exam, corrective eyewear, such as glasses or contact lenses, supplies and solutions, are available to purchase with FSA dollars.

Needing some last minute eligible expenses to purchase with FSA dollars?  A few are listed below. 

  • Band-Aids – cover up all types of cuts and scrapes with FSA-eligible bandages (non-medicated).
  • Allergy Relief – going Back-to-School may mean back to pesky allergy season. Grab relief in the form of tablets to sprays and throat lozenges.  (Must be doctor prescribed). 
  • Wax for Braces – braces can be extremely uncomfortable, but buying wax for braces can help stop irritation.
  • Thermometers – sick days are bound to happen, but stay on top of all family health issues this fall and winter with a preferred device.
  • Acne Relief – acne is a major issue in the teen years. With a prescription, teenagers can fight those embarrassing, pesky breakouts. 
  • Copays – every time an appointment is made, whether it’s a physical, dental exam, or for an illness, use FSA funds to pay the copay.

Curious about what other items could be considered eligible expenses?  Check out IRS Publication 502.  For more information on the 125 Cafeteria Plan Flexible Spending Account, call BASE® at 1-888-386-9680.