Implementing Health Reform: Preliminary 2015 Enrollment Numbers; Guidances – Health Affairs Blog
The Internal Revenue Service continues to struggle with the question of how the Affordable Care Act affects various arrangements through which employers attempt to pay premiums for employees to purchase health insurance coverage in the individual market. The federal agencies have already issued four guidances on this issue over the past two years in January of 2013, September of 2013, November of 2014, and December of 2014. On February 18, 2015, it released yet another guidance on this issue, this one focused on small employers.
The question addressed by these guidances is whether an employer, instead of offering its employees a traditional group health plan, can use a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) or some other form of employer premium payment plan to pay employee premiums for individual market coverage. The February 18 guidance covers premium payments for Medicare and Tricare as well.