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Many employers that self-administer an HRA often overlook important compliance obligations that put them at financial risk. Failure to comply with the minimum HRA administration requirements is common and can be costly.  And, if an employer does take the extra steps to fully comply, the administrative cost will likely outweigh the HRA Benefits.

Here are the top three reasons employers should consider using HRA software to self-administer an HRA:

  1. Tax Savings/IRS Compliance
  2. Federal Compliance
  3. Ease-of-Use
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IRS Publication 502, Medical and Dental Expenses, defines medical care for the purpose of deducting medical expenses and reimbursing medical expenses through programs such as HSAs and HRAs. Health Reimbursement Arrangements, or HRAs, are defined contribution plans through which employers can reimburse their employees for eligible medical expenses. 

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Which is better: A health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) or a health savings account (HSA)?

HRAs are entirely funded by the employer and available to all employees, while HSAs are funded by both the employer and employee and available only to employees with a qualifying high-deductible health plan (HDHP).

The answer as to which is better, however, depends on what you are trying to accomplish and whether you are an employer or an employee.

Note: Legislation passed in December 2016 established a new form of Health Reimbursement Arrangement, the qualified small employer health reimbursement arrangement (QSEHRA). The following blog post compares the benefits of a QSEHRA to an HSA.

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Choosing between health benefits options can be difficult—especially for small businesses.

As a small business, you must balance the company budget, your recruiting and retention goals, and your employees’ wishes. With narrow margins for error, it can become overwhelming quickly.

In this post, we’ll walk you through the most important questions you should ask when weighing each option, including:

  • Based on eligibility criteria, which options can my business offer?

  • What is my business able and willing to spend on health benefits?

  • How much time do I have to administer the benefit?

  • What are my employees’ current insurance statuses?

  • What do my employees prefer?

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A health reimbursement arrangement, or HRA, is an IRS-approved health benefit that allows for tax-free reimbursement of medical and insurance expenses. To be compliant, it must follow certain requirements—including having formal plan documents in place.

HRA plan documents describe the benefit's terms and conditions related to the operation and administration of the benefit. In this post, we'll cover the requirements you need to know in order to set up and offer an HRA.

Let's get started.

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The qualified small employer health reimbursement arrangement (QSEHRA) is among the best options for small businesses that want to offer a formal health benefit but can’t afford traditional group health insurance.

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