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Small Biz Community Lauds Senate Passage of Bill Eliminating Penalty for Small Businesses Offering HRA's

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

CONTACT:  Kristofer Eisenla, LUNA+EISENLA media | 202-670-5747 (mobile)

Calls on President to Sign “Cures Act” to Ensure the Health Care System Works for America’s Small Business Community

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Senate passed legislation today allowing small businesses with less than 50 employees to offer Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRAs) without penalty.   The National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE), the nation’s leading advocate and resource for the self-employed and micro-business community, applauded today’s bipartisan vote and encouraged President Obama to sign the "21st Century Cures Act" into law. The House passed the legislation last week.

“The U.S. Senate’s bipartisan action today will remove a burdensome and unfair regulation on America’s smallest employers, and we encourage President Obama to immediately sign the measure into law,” said Katie Vlietstra, NASE Vice President for Government Relations and Public Affairs.  “It is essential that we have a health care system that works for all Americans.  After three years of uncertainty and facing down the threat of $100 per day fines by the IRS, these Main Street businesses deserve some relief.  The American small business community and their employees are counting on our federal policymakers to ensure all Americans have access to affordable health care.”

NASE has been part of a coalition of small business groups leading the effort to change this unintended consequence of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which negatively impacted small employers with 49 or less employees that are under no legal obligation to provide a qualified healthcare plan under the employer mandate of the ACA.  However, HRAs are a key health care tool that has long-been used to help small business owners provide some level of financial support for their employees.

In 2015, the Treasury Department announced that it was delaying the enforcement of the technical guidance issued in September 2013 regarding Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRAs).  When the technical guidance was issued, NASE submitted a draft response illustrating its affect on the small business community. At that time, Vlietstra also penned an op-ed on this health care situation for The Hill’s Congress Blog.


The National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) is the nation's leading resource for the self-employed and micro-businesses, bringing a broad range of benefits to help entrepreneurs succeed and to drive the continued growth of this vital segment of the American economy. The NASE Small Business Locator helps identify and connect our nation’s smallest businesses. In addition, NASE’s new health care portal helps small business owners navigate the nation’s health care marketplace. The NASE is a 501(c) (6) nonprofit organization and provides big-business advantages to hundreds of thousands of micro-businesses across the United States. For more information, visit the association's website at


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