What Is an ICHRA, or Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Arrangement, Anyway?

Published

January 22, 2024

Imagine you’re out to dinner. You’re on a budget and have been good about keeping it, plus you’re not that hungry, so you’re just going to order a salad and a side. Your friends are in the mood for steak. They order the aged prime rib with all the trimmings and yelp over a rare bottle of wine that they have to try. 

 

Everyone eats. Everyone is happy. Stories are told, laughs are shared, and then the bill comes. Someone (not you) says, “Should we just split it evenly?”

 

Everyone nods. Your palms have started to sweat. You don’t have the budget to pay for someone else’s share of aged steak and merlot— you want to pay for your (delicious) salad and go home. 

 

Welcome to traditional group healthcare coverage.

 

Right now, your company has people who only need a salad and are paying for other people’s steak and Merlot. Or people who want to try the caviar but can’t. Just like splitting the bill evenly, group health insurance robs everyone at the table of their autonomy and ability to choose what’s best for them.

 

Enter, Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Arrangements (ICHRAs).

 

Download SureCo's ICHRA Guide

 

Freedom of Choice, Lower Costs

 

An ICHRA is an employer-provided health benefit model that allows employees to choose their health insurance coverage from all plans available in their area and get reimbursed from their employer tax-free for a portion of the premiums. If you haven’t heard of it, you’re not alone. ICHRAs are relatively new. They were introduced and made available to employers in 2020. 

 

ICHRAs make employees masters of their health insurance destiny. One employee wants steak? They’ve got it. Another wants sushi with a side of soup? No problem. Think of it like a 401(k) for health insurance — a defined contribution model that lets employees choose any plan from a range of competitive carriers with the click of a button.

 

The magic here lies in the free market competition. With employees free to select plans that best suit their healthcare needs, carriers are forced to compete for their business. The result? Lower annual premiums and cost predictability. It's like opening the floodgates to a world of possibilities while keeping a tight rein on expenses.

 

ichra_vs_trad

 

Network Flexibility and Plan Customization

 

ICHRAs break the shackles of a restricted plan network and empower employees to customize their health coverage. Whether someone wants a plan with their favorite doctors included or needs coverage that aligns with their budget and healthcare requirements, it's all available.

 

This newfound flexibility extends to network options, allowing employees to save money by choosing an individual plan with the right network for them. It's a win-win situation where employers and employees find common ground in pursuing tailored healthcare solutions.

 

Employee Empowerment at Its Finest

 

Picture a scenario where your employees are not just beneficiaries of health insurance but active participants in choosing and owning their policies. That's the beauty of an ICHRA — it puts employees in the driver’s seat, giving them greater control and empowerment over their healthcare decisions.

 

Say goodbye to the days of being stuck with a plan that doesn't align with individual needs. With ICHRAs, employees become the architects of their health coverage, leading to a more engaged and satisfied workforce.

 

Don’t Split the Bill

 

An ICHRA promises a brighter, more flexible future for employers, employees, and insurance brokers alike. It's about choice, customization, and empowerment, all while keeping a close eye on the bottom line. Your workforce will thank you, and so will your bottom line. 

 

Cheers to a healthier, happier, and more cost-effective future—whether you’re toasting with sparkling water or wine!

More Stories

Give Your Employees More Benefit Options, Tax-Free.

Connect with a member of our team today.
Contact Us