Affordable Care Act Alert – HRA Policy Change for Qualified Small Employers December 9, 2016As of Wednesday December 7, 2016 both the US House and Senate have passed the 21st Century Cures Act. The act, which has been openly supported by the White House (White House statement here), includes many provisions, among which is a policy change effecting the applicability of Healthcare Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA’s) to small and mid-sized employers.BACKGROUND: From the 1960’s until 2015, HRA’s were used by employers who did not offer group health plans as a way to reimburse employees who purchased non-group individual or family insurance coverage.Beginning in 2015 the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and related IRS pronouncements made HRA’s outside of a full-coverage group health plan subject to IRC section 4980D penalties of $100 per employee per day ($36,500 per employee per year).NEW DEVELOPMENTS: Section 18001 of the 21st Century Cures Act removes the applicability of the IRC section 4980D penalties for “Qualified Small Employers Health Reimbursement Arrangements” under certain circumstances. These circumstances include:The employer is below the 50 employee (FTE) ACA thresholdThe HRA is available to all eligible employees on the same terms (i.e. different options or amounts cannot be offered to different employees)The HRA is funded solely by the employer, no salary reduction contributions by the employeeProof of coverage or medical cost must be provided to the employer to support the reimbursementAnnual reimbursements must not exceed $4,950 (single) or $10,000 (family)Applicable for tax years starting on or after January 1, 2017This recent development may impact small and medium sized employers who are still in the process of determining 2017 benefits structures.If you have questions related to this or any other topic please contact James F. Eaton, III, CPA/PFS, MBA or Michael J. Agetstein, CPA/PFS.About KatzAbosch: Founded in 1969, KatzAbosch is one of the largest CPA and business consulting services in the Mid-Atlantic region. As an accounting firm, our mission is to provide the highest quality accounting, tax, financial and management consulting services to our regional clients. We understand the needs and challenges of our clients and we have made it our obligation to create, grow and protect asset value. KatzAbosch is consistently named a Best Accounting Firm to Work For in Accounting Today and has been named a Top 200 Accounting Firms in the Nation by Inside Public Accounting. Our firm is also ranked among the Top 15 Largest Accounting Firms in the Baltimore Area by the Baltimore Business Journal and a Top Workplace four times by The Baltimore Sun.