Trump administration unveils health options for small firms

October 22, 2018 - 7:03 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — Officials say the Trump administration is rolling out new options for small employers to use tax-free accounts for providing health coverage to workers.

The idea is to expand so-called "health reimbursement arrangements" to allow employees to buy their own individual coverage.

Employers can also pair the accounts with workplace health insurance, allowing workers to use the money for additional benefits such as dental care.

Officials from the departments of Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services provided a broad overview of the proposal Monday evening ahead of an official announcement, expected Tuesday.

Critics say the approach will undermine traditional job-based coverage.

HRAs join other Trump administration health insurance initiatives, including association health plans and short-term policies.

The changes are complex and could take time for employers to sort out.

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