The Trump Administration Made the Right Move on Health Reimbursement Accounts 

Nov 8, 2018 by AFP

Obamacare’s onerous regulations have created worse health care outcomes for nearly all Americans, forcing them into insurance plans with unnecessary coverage at prices they often can’t afford. Perhaps nobody is more aware of the pitfalls of this failing system than America’s small business owners and their employees.

Between 2010 and 2018, the percentage of small companies offering health insurance fell from 44 percent to 30 percent, a nearly 32 percent decrease. For those small companies still offering benefits, most can offer only one option, which might or might not suit employees’ needs.

To say the least, this is not ideal. And like many problems with American health care, the solution can be found in greater choice and competition.

Fortunately, the Trump administration recently announced a regulatory change allowing employer-sponsored health reimbursement accounts (HRAs) to fund the purchase of individual insurance plans — tax-free. Before this rule change, which takes effect at the beginning of 2020, employees could use HRAs only through their employers to offset out-of-pocket medical expenses. Now, employees can use their HRAs to purchase health insurance of their own.

This isn’t small potatoes. The Treasury Department estimates that approximately 800,000 employers will make use of these new HRAs, providing coverage to more than 10 million employees. That’s the power of choice at work.

Competition also has a role to play. With these newly streamlined HRAs, consumers flooding the individual insurance market have the potential to drive down premiums, driving up competition between companies and fostering greater innovation and choice. What’s more, businesses, now liberated from the clutter of choosing employee benefits, will be able to focus on, well, business.

The Trump administration’s efforts to remove costly and unnecessary barriers will prove a fruitful endeavor in providing more options for quality care to countless Americans. We should applaud their latest efforts to streamline the use of HRAs by employers and employees.

This is an excellent step in the direction toward more choice and better care at more affordable prices. Sign the petition to show your support for the Trump administration’s rule change.