More Employers Opt Out of Traditional Group Health Plans

Cost-Controlling ICHRAs and Tools for Deploying Them Change the Benefits Game

In the face of rising health care costs, more employers in Georgia are moving away from offering group health insurance plans and are saving up to 15% in the process. Contributing to this trend is the introduction of Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Arrangements (ICHRAs), a new type of health reimbursement arrangement that helps control employee health care costs and offers more flexibility.

“HRASimple eliminated the angst of annual renewal increases… and stabilized my budget… on top of saving our organization over 7 million dollars in 2021, which saved a lot of jobs during the pandemic. For our organization, it was a genuine win-win for all involved.”

ICHRAs (pronounced IK-rahs) became available in January 2020 through changes in IRS regulations that allow employers subject to Affordable Care Act requirements to reimburse employees tax-free dollars for the health plans of their choosing. A recent study found that 15% of surveyed employers concerned about budget constraints intend to adopt ICHRAs in 2022 and beyond.

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A second major driver behind the trend is new tools and technology that are easing the transition to this new health care solution. Digital platforms such as HRASimple reduce the administrative burdens of managing a group health plan and assist companies in executing an ICHRA.

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“We were spending more and more each year on group health insurance for our employees… and managing the budget for this benefit was becoming more of a hassle than a benefit,” says Julie Soekoro, CFO of Hamilton Health Care System in Dalton, GA. “HRASimple eliminated the angst of annual renewal increases… and stabilized my budget… on top of saving our organization over 7 million dollars in 2021, which saved a lot of jobs during the pandemic. For our organization, it was a genuine win-win for all involved.”

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