Reps. Charles Boustany (R-La.) and Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) introduced legislation on NAHB’s behalf to reverse an IRS regulation preventing small businesses from providing employees with standalone health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs), which have been a popular benefit with HBA members.

Standalone HRAs are an employer-provided benefit that offers participants a spending account to reimburse them for qualified medical expenses.

However, in light of the Affordable Care Act’s prohibition against health plans with an annual dollar limit on essential benefits, standalone HRAs have been deemed impermissible.

The Small Business Healthcare Relief Act of 2014 would restore these tax free employer-sponsored benefits that will help employees offset rising health care costs and pay for qualified medical expenses.