Common Questions under the Health Care Reform Laws – Part 7

Larry Grudzien

January 16, 2010


My client sponsors an insured high deductible health plan (HDHP) with a Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA).  Does the HRA have to met the new lifetime and annual limit requirements under Health Reform?


The application of the new lifetime and annual limit requirements on HRAs varies depending on the type of arrangement. HRAs that are integrated with other coverage (as part of a larger group health plan) are not subject to the limit restrictions, so long as the other coverage complies with lifetime and annual limit requirements. Retiree-only HRAs are also not subject to annual and lifetime limits. The agencies have requested comments regarding the application of PHSA § 2711 (relating to both annual and lifetime limits) to stand-alone HRAs that are not retiree-only plans, as provided in 75 Fed. Reg. 37188, 37190-37191 (June 28, 2010).


HRAs that do not satisfy any of the available exceptions may seek relief from the restricted annual limit requirement under the HHS waiver program.