Differences, Similarities & Which is Right for You


Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) have turn into a pivotal ingredient in worker advantages, offering versatile healthcare funding options for companies. As a enterprise proprietor or HR decision-maker, understanding the nuances of various HRA plans is essential for tailoring advantages to your group’s distinctive wants. 

Types of HRAs

Navigating the world of HRAs will be advanced, however with this information, you will be geared up to make knowledgeable selections about providing the proper well being advantages to your staff.

What is an HRA?

Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) are a cornerstone of contemporary worker advantages, providing a versatile strategy to healthcare financing. Unlike conventional medical health insurance plans, HRAs empower employers to supply their staff with funds for medical bills, providing each flexibility and management over healthcare spending. This adaptability makes HRAs a horny possibility for companies looking for to tailor their well being advantages to particular wants.

Understanding the variations and similarities amongst varied HRAs is vital. Each kind of HRA comes with its personal algorithm, advantages, and limitations, making some extra appropriate for sure companies than others. By greedy these distinctions, employers can successfully navigate the panorama of worker well being advantages, guaranteeing they select essentially the most acceptable HRA mannequin for his or her group and workforce.

How Do HRAs Work?

An HRA is an employer-funded plan that reimburses staff for certified medical bills, as much as a certain quantity yearly. This association affords tax benefits to each employers and staff. Employers fund and personal the accounts, and reimbursement for medical bills is tax-free for workers, offered the bills are certified. 

Employers set the phrases of the HRA, together with the quantity of funds obtainable and the kind of bills which might be eligible for reimbursement. Unlike Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), HRAs will not be owned by the worker and usually don’t carry over unused funds yr to yr, though some HRA plans might enable this. Also in contrast to an HSA, HRAs will not be pre-funded. There’s not “account,” there’s merely reimbursements. 

The flexibility of HRAs means they are often tailored to a variety of enterprise sizes and kinds, making them a flexible instrument in crafting a complete worker advantages bundle.

Individual Coverage HRA (ICHRA)

The Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Arrangement (ICHRA) is a contemporary adaptation of the normal HRA, designed to supply better flexibility and personalization in healthcare advantages. Introduced in 2020, ICHRA has shortly turn into a well-liked selection for companies of assorted sizes attributable to its distinctive construction and advantages.

Key Features and Benefits

  1. Personalized Coverage: ICHRA permits staff to pick out their very own medical health insurance plans within the particular person market, which the employer then reimburses by means of the HRA. This mannequin offers staff with the liberty to decide on a plan that most accurately fits their private and household well being wants.
  2. Scalability for Any Business Size: Unlike some HRA choices, ICHRA has no minimal or most employer measurement necessities, making it appropriate for each small companies and huge firms.
  3. Flexible Contribution Limits: Employers have the freedom to set their very own contribution limits with ICHRA. There are not any caps on the quantity an employer can contribute, offering room for beneficiant healthcare advantages.
  4. Tax Benefits: Contributions made by employers are tax-deductible, and reimbursements obtained by staff are tax-free, offered they’re for certified medical bills.
  5. Customizable Eligibility Classes: Employers can set up totally different eligibility lessons (e.g., full-time, part-time, seasonal staff) and set various reimbursement charges for every, providing a tailor-made advantages construction.


To be eligible for ICHRA, staff have to be enrolled in particular person medical health insurance protection or Medicare. This requirement is pivotal as ICHRA funds can solely be used to reimburse premiums for these particular person insurance policies, not for group well being plans. Employers providing ICHRA should additionally guarantee they aren’t concurrently providing a standard group well being plan to the identical class of staff.

ICHRA offers a contemporary resolution for companies looking for to supply customized, scalable, and tax-efficient well being advantages. Its adaptability makes it a horny possibility for a various workforce with various healthcare wants.

Qualified Small Employer HRA (QSEHRA)

The Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangement (QSEHRA) is particularly designed for small companies, providing a simplified but efficient strategy to offering well being advantages. Introduced in 2016, QSEHRA has turn into a popular possibility for small employers who want to help their staff’ healthcare wants with out the complexities or prices related to conventional group well being plans.

Key Features and Benefits

  1. Tailored for Small Businesses: QSEHRA is accessible completely to employers with fewer than 50 full-time staff, making it a great resolution for small enterprises.
  2. Tax Advantages: Similar to different HRAs, contributions made by the employer are tax-deductible, and reimbursements are tax-free for workers if used for certified medical bills.
  3. Contribution Caps: QSEHRA has annual contribution limits set by the IRS, guaranteeing a degree enjoying discipline for small companies and serving to to regulate healthcare spending.
  4. Reimbursement of Premiums and Medical Expenses: Employers can reimburse staff for each medical health insurance premiums and different certified medical bills, providing complete well being protection help.
  5. No Minimum Participation Requirements: QSEHRA doesn’t have participation necessities, making it a versatile possibility for small companies with a various vary of worker wants.


To be eligible for QSEHRA, staff should have minimal important protection (MEC), which may embrace particular person medical health insurance insurance policies or Medicare. This requirement ensures that the reimbursements made by means of QSEHRA are used in direction of reputable healthcare bills.

For small companies looking for an easy but efficient strategy to supply well being advantages, QSEHRA presents a horny resolution. Its design caters to the distinctive challenges confronted by small employers, providing each flexibility and cost-control in managing worker well being advantages.

Excepted Benefit HRA (EBHRA)

The Excepted Benefit Health Reimbursement Arrangement (EBHRA) is a specialised kind of HRA designed to cowl particular, non-major medical bills. It’s a flexible resolution for employers who wish to supply extra well being advantages alongside their major well being plans.

Key Features and Benefits

  1. Designed for Additional Benefits: EBHRA is meant to reimburse for excepted advantages, comparable to dental and imaginative and prescient care, short-term limited-duration insurance coverage, and related bills not coated by the first well being plan.
  2. Complementary to Major Medical Plans: Employers can supply EBHRA alongside a standard group well being plan, however staff will not be required to be enrolled within the employer’s major plan to profit from EBHRA.
  3. Annual Contribution Limits: EBHRA contributions are capped yearly by the IRS, offering a managed, budget-friendly possibility for employers.
  4. Tax Efficiency: Reimbursements from EBHRA are tax-free for workers, and employer contributions are tax-deductible.


EBHRA is accessible to all staff no matter their enrollment within the employer’s major well being plan. This inclusivity makes it an accessible possibility for a variety of staff, enhancing the general advantages bundle.

HRA That Only Pays Excepted Benefits

An HRA designed completely to pay excepted advantages is a focused well being reimbursement association specializing in particular, non-core well being bills.

Key Features and Benefits

  1. Focused Coverage: This kind of HRA is strictly for excepted advantages, offering a slender but vital help for bills like dental and imaginative and prescient care.
  2. Employer Flexibility: Employers can supply this HRA as a standalone profit or alongside different well being plans, offering extra flexibility in structuring worker advantages.
  3. Defined Contribution Limits: As with different HRAs, there are set contribution limits, permitting employers to handle healthcare budgets successfully.


This HRA variant is accessible to all staff, providing an easy means for employers to reinforce their advantages bundle with particular, focused well being care help.

Retiree-Only HRA

The Retiree-Only HRA is a specialised association designed for retired staff, offering a helpful healthcare funding resolution post-retirement.

Key Features and Benefits

  1. Exclusive for Retirees: Tailored particularly for retired staff, this HRA helps their distinctive healthcare wants throughout retirement.
  2. Flexible Spending Options: Retirees can use the funds for quite a lot of medical bills, together with premiums for Medicare and different well being plans.
  3. Employer-Controlled Contributions: Employers can decide the contribution ranges, providing a customizable strategy to retiree well being advantages.


To be eligible for the Retiree-Only HRA, people have to be retirees of the providing firm. This association is just not obtainable for lively staff, focusing completely on supporting the healthcare wants of the retired workforce.


How to Know Which HRA is Right to Offer Your Employees

Choosing the proper HRA in your staff is a call that requires cautious consideration of assorted components. The proper selection can considerably improve your advantages bundle, whereas a misaligned HRA may not meet the wants of your workforce successfully. 

Key Factors in Choosing an HRA

When choosing an HRA, think about whether or not you have to supply greater than the QSEHRA allotted quantity, how you will use totally different lessons (comparable to full-time or part-time staff), and the necessity for reimbursement choices like medical sharing plans or spousal plan premiums. These concerns will assist you to slender down the HRA sorts that align greatest with your small business’s and staff’ wants.

Assessing Your Business Needs

The measurement of your small business, price range limitations, and the particular demographics and desires of your staff play a big function in figuring out essentially the most appropriate HRA. A small enterprise with restricted sources would possibly discover QSEHRA extra acceptable, whereas bigger organizations might lean in direction of ICHRA for its scalability and adaptability.

Understanding Regulatory Compliance

Staying up to date with the newest HRA rules and guaranteeing that your chosen HRA is compliant are vital. This includes understanding the authorized nuances of every HRA kind and the way they apply to your small business construction and worker advantages coverage.

Feedback from Employees

Gathering suggestions out of your staff about their well being wants is invaluable. Conduct surveys or suggestions classes to know their preferences and considerations. This info can information you in choosing an HRA that resonates together with your workforce and addresses their well being considerations successfully.

Consulting with Experts

Seeking recommendation from skilled HRA directors, like Take Command, can give you professional insights into the complexities of HRAs. These professionals will help you navigate the choice course of, guaranteeing that your chosen HRA aligns with each your small business targets and worker wants.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About HRA Plans

What are the several types of HRA plans?

There are a number of kinds of Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) obtainable, every designed to cater to totally different enterprise sizes and desires. The major HRA sorts embrace:

  • Individual Coverage HRA (ICHRA)
  • Qualified Small Employer HRA (QSEHRA)
  • Excepted Benefit HRA (EBHRA)
  • HRA that solely pays excepted advantages
  • Retiree-only HRA

Each kind has distinct options and eligibility necessities to accommodate a various vary of worker healthcare wants.

What are two kinds of HRA?

Two widespread kinds of HRAs are:

  1. Individual Coverage HRA (ICHRA): Allows staff to decide on their very own particular person medical health insurance plans, that are then reimbursed by the employer.   
  1. Qualified Small Employer HRA (QSEHRA): Designed for small companies with fewer than 50 staff, providing a easy strategy to reimburse medical bills, together with insurance coverage premiums.

What is a typical HRA plan?

A typical HRA plan usually refers to an association the place an employer reimburses staff for certified medical bills as much as a sure restrict. This could possibly be a standard HRA, which is commonly built-in with a bunch well being plan, or one of many extra particular sorts like ICHRA or QSEHRA, relying on the context.

What kind of insurance coverage is HRA?

An HRA is just not insurance coverage however somewhat an employer-funded well being profit plan that reimburses staff for out-of-pocket medical bills and, in some circumstances, medical health insurance premiums. HRAs are thought-about well being profit plans that present tax benefits by providing employer-funded reimbursements of certified bills.

Making the Right Choice in HRAs for Your Business

In navigating the complexities of Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs), it is clear that these plans supply a various and adaptable strategy to handle worker well being advantages. From the individualized nature of ICHRAs to the small-business-friendly QSEHRA, there is a kind of HRA fitted to virtually each enterprise want.

As you think about the following steps in enhancing your organization’s advantages choices, let the consultants at Take Command information you thru your HRA journey to make sure you get arrange with ease. With our specialised information, you’ll get tailor-made recommendation in your particular scenario to make sure your small business selects the HRA that aligns together with your firm’s targets and your staff’ well-being.

Our staff of consultants is prepared that will help you discover the proper kind of HRA plan.



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