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IRS Temporarily Extends Notice Period for 2017 QSEHRAs

In a new IRS Notice, the period to provide the required notice to all participants of a new Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangement (QSEHRA) is extended until no sooner than 90 days after the issuance of such guidance.

Under the 21st Century Cures Act, which included the adoption of QSEHRAs, a new type of HRA specifically designed for small employers (those with fewer than 50 full-time plus full-time equivalent employees) that didn't offer any group health plan, one of the requirements was that an annual notice be provided at least 90 days before the start of the QSEHRA plan year letting participants know three important items:

  1. A statement of the amount that would be the eligible employee’s permitted benefit under the QSEHRA for the year;
  2. A statement that the eligible employee should provide the information described in the first item above to any health insurance exchange to which the employee applies for advance payment of the premium tax credit; and
  3. A statement that if the eligible employee is not covered under minimum essential coverage for any month of the QSEHRA plan year, the employee may be liable for an individual shared responsibility payment (the individual mandate) for that month and reimbursements under the QSEHRA may be includible in the employee's gross income.

The IRS Notice also goes on to provide that employers that furnish the QSEHRA notice to their eligible employees before further guidance is issued may rely upon a reasonable good faith interpretation of the statute to determine the contents of the notice.

Posted on March 06, 2017 by Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO

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