ICHRA: The Key to Consumer Healthcare Empowerment

ICHRA:  The Key to Consumer Healthcare Empowerment

Joe Markland – CEO, nfor1 Inc



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There shouldn’t be egg on the face of the esteemed “Rosetta” brokers just because Trump outdid their health plan innovation. The former’s “direct contracting” innovation remains, indeed, part of the state of the art in employer plans but it still leaves employers “in the risk business”.

But, with the Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Arrangement (ICHRA) that was recently expanded, the CEO can get out of the risk business. Now they can provide even better benefits programs that offer employees more health insurance options – making it easier for an employee to customize a program that meets their family’s needs.

Mr. Markland offers a further twist with his ICHRA program: savings for the worker. As employee contributions have gone up, the value of benefit plans has gone down. Employers should redefine what a good benefits program is by focusing not on employer costs, but employee costs.

The Cato Institute reports that workers nationwide lose $1 trillion annually from the tax subsidy for workplace benefits.  Is it time to individualize coverage, and use a tax incentive like ICHRA to facilitate this empowerment of consumers? CEOs worry about retention, but maybe the answer for them lies in giving up control over benefits.

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