NASE Applauds U.S. House Passage of Bill Allowing Small Businesses to Provide HRA’s Without Penalty


NASE Applauds U.S. House Passage of Bill Allowing Small Businesses to Provide HRA’s Without Penalty


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

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States House of Representatives passed bipartisan legislation today by a vote of 392 to 26 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 calling it, “a step in the right direction towards ensuring our nation’s healthcare system works for all Americans.”

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.

“We applaud the U.S. House of Representatives for taking bipartisan action today and moving closer to lifting this burdensome regulation on America’s smallest employers, the lifeblood of our economy,” said Katie Vlietstra, NASE Vice President for Government Relations and Public Affairs.  “It is essential that employers have many ways to provide and support the purchase of health insurance by their employees and health reimbursement arrangements are a valuable tool to small employers to offer to their nimble workforce.  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.”

Vlietstra continued, “In order to ensure a vibrant and growing economy, it is essential to have many paths for America’s smallest businesses and their employees to secure affordable health care.   

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 healthcare situation for The Hill’s Congress Blog.

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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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