Three changes to small business health plans for 2019

Small business employers who choose to offer health benefits to employees will find more options available in 2019 under rules proposed late last year for adaptation this year.

The IRS and Treasury Department clarified that employers who meet other conditions will be allowed to offer reimbursement of individual health insurance on a tax-free basis. These reimbursements can be made through a Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) or another type of health plan. Previously the use of individual insurance in an HRA was more limited.

The Department of Labor clarified that health plans that offer individual health insurance will not be subject to legal controls referred to as “ERISA requirements”.

Plans that offer alternative types of insurance will not be subject to most of the restrictions of the Affordable Care Act.

Our affiliated Freedom Benefits offers custom small business health plan design services and specific individual health insurance that can be used in conjunction with these more liberal regulations.

One caution: these are proposed rules that could be further clarified in coming months.


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