Summary of Legislation
U.S. Senators Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and Congressmen Charles Boustany (R-LA) and Mike Thompson (D-CA) introduced the bipartisan legislation in the Senate (S. 3060) and House (H.R. 5447), respectively, referred to as the Small Business Healthcare Relief Act (SBHRA).
As a result of the September 2013 guidance issued jointly by the Department of Treasury, Health and Human Services, and the Department of Labor, small business owners have been limited in their ability to use stand-alone health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) to assist employees with out-of-pocket health insurance and healthcare costs.
If passed, the SBHRA will ensure small business owners can use Health Reimbursement Arrangements to assist employees with out-of-pocket health insurance and healthcare costs. The proposed legislation introduces a Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangement (QSEHRA) that would:
- Allow small employers to use tax-advantaged funding to assist employees with their out-of-pocket health insurance and related medical costs
- Provide exemptions from current compliance requirements and associated penalties
The SBHRA will provide relief on multiple fronts to small business employers by expanding affordable healthcare options, easing the burden of healthcare related administration, and helping employers to remain competitive for purposes of recruitment and retention.
Lastly, the SBHRA will also benefit employees by affording them the flexibility and cost savings to personally choose the most appropriate health plan for their unique healthcare needs on the individual market.
Source: Zane Benefits