Washington Watch - February 26, 2015


Washington Watch - February 26, 2015

Self-Employed Given a Small Breathing Room on HRA Compliance

On February 18, 2015, the Department of Treasury announced a short-term delay in the enforcement of penalties associated with an employer offering a Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) without an accompanying ACA compliant health insurance plan. This delay allows the NASE and its partners an opportunity to move forward with a legislative fix to the agency’s interpretation of the ACA as it relates to HRA plans. Currently, Rep. Boustany (R-LA) is working quickly to re-introduce his legislation from the last congress (Small Business Healthcare Relief Act of 2014) that would allow small employers (49 or less employees) to offer an HRA to their employees without consequence.

There is growing support for this initiative and we look forward to working with both House and Senate champions to ensure the self-employed and micro-business community continues to have access to an incredibly valuable tool to help their employees.

Self-Employed and Micro-Business Owners Remain Concerned Over Health Care Costs

Over 66% of small business owners responding to a new survey conducted by the National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) ranked “decreasing monthly premiums” as the one thing they would change about their current health care plan.

The survey, conducted October 27, 2014 through January 19, 2015, gauges the opinions of 188 small business owners and self-employed entrepreneurs nationwide on the issue of health care. In addition to the overwhelming majority of respondents citing the monthly premium costs as a major concern, 53% of those surveyed said they had either “low” or “very low” confidence they will be able to obtain both affordable and comprehensive health care coverage in 2015.

Additionally, of those surveyed, only 20% qualified for health insurance premium subsidies, further enforcing the importance of working to lower the cost of health insurance across the board for all consumers.

NASE Non-Deductible Dues Portion

The NASE is proud of our advocacy efforts and the work we do each day to advocate for the interests of the self-employed and small-business owners. The Internal Revenue Code and regulations provide that dues amounts used to support legislative advocacy are not deductible by you as a business expense even if they would otherwise be. For the tax year 2014, $10 of your dues are attributable to legislative activities and thus not deductible.

Washington Watch Online

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Courtesy of NASE.org