Trump Executive Order Includes Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs)

Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Long championed by the NASE, Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) have become a significant tool for the self-employed and micro-business owner to use to offer a unique, innovative health care benefit.

In conversations with the Administration earlier this year, the NASE advocated for the expansion of HRAs. With the executive order, President Trump is requesting that the Departments of Labor, Treasury, and Health & Human services within 120 days, “consider proposing regulations or revising guidance, to the extent permitted by law and supported by sound policy, to increase the usability of HRAs, to expand employers’ ability to offer HRAs to their employees, and to allow HRAs to be used in conjunction with nongroup coverage.”

The NASE believes strongly that HRAs are immensely important for employers to offer options and financial support to their employees in purchasing qualified health care expenses. Any move by the Administration to provide greater flexibility and more control over health care will help those in the small business community save, grow and expand, therefore helping to strengthen the overall economy.

The executive order also included instructions to the evaluate the development and implementation of association health plans and the necessity to create short term, limited duration health plans.

The announcement of the executive order comes on the heels of what the Trump Administration sees as complete failure in repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, which they pushed as a “must do.” We can anticipate that the Trump Administration to issue further executive orders, directing the agencies of jurisdiction to evaluate ways in which they can change the ACA without legislative action by Congress.

Katie Vlietstra is NASE’s Vice President for Government Relations and Public Affairs.

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