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Be Successful with the BASE® QSE HRA

The success of small business owners is important to us, and it is imperative to understand the challenges that nearly a quarter of small businesses face.  It’s the trend we continue to see for business owners of all sizes – wanting to provide health care and health care benefits to employees while saving money and keeping the business profitable.   

The Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangement (QSE HRA) was established and signed into law in 2017 as a part of the 21st Century Cures Act.  This type of HRA makes it much easier for small business owners to offer an attractive benefits package to their employees.  It is a great alternative to traditional group health insurance because employers can set their own budget and provide a formal health benefit to all of their employees without having to provide health insurance.

How does it work?

  1. The small business sets a monthly allowance. This is the maximum amount of tax-free money the employee will receive for their health care.  For 2020, self-only coverage can receive up to $5,250 and family coverage can receive up to $10,600. 
  2. Notifications and Attestation. The employer provides a 90 day notification before the start of the plan and an attestation form to serve as proof of Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC). 
  3. Employees make their purchases. Employees can purchase individual health insurance or use the money for co-pays, deductibles, prescription drugs, dental, and vision, among other out-of-pocket medical expenses. 
  4. Employees submit proof of their expense. After incurring the expense, the employee will submit proof, as defined in Code Section 213(d), to the business through receipts or an explanation of benefits from their insurance company along with affirmation of MEC before each reimbursement is made. 
  5. Expenses are substantiated and employee is reimbursed. If it is a qualified expense, the expense is reimbursed.

To offer a QSE HRA, a business must have fewer than 50 full-time employees and not offer group insurance, including health, dental, or vision.  It must be offered to all W-2 employees and those employees must provide proof of Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC).

Stacey Davis, a BASE® Sales Representative, works with a lot of clients who have found the QSE HRA to be a good fit for their benefit strategy.  “A lot of business owners cannot afford to provide group health insurance, but they can provide a benefit that their employees can use to pay for their health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket medical expenses.  It is a great tool that can help to either keep current employees, help entice new employees, or just assist them with their medical expenses.  Instead of offering bonuses and pay raises, which are taxable to the employees, employers can offer their employees a benefit that is tax-free and 100% tax deductible to the business.”

Both the employer and employees will reap the benefits of the QSE HRA. Among other benefits, the employer can save the business money and have peace of mind knowing that all legal and administrative concerns are taken care of by BASE®.  The employees now have additional money to help with the rising cost of health care and can secure their own medical insurance that fits their needs on or off the Marketplace while getting the added benefits.

The QSE HRA has been successful for all types of small businesses in offering employee health benefits.  In years to come, businesses are expected to offer HRAs, like the QSE HRA, and increase the value they provide to employees.  For more information on the BASE® QSE HRA, call BASE® at 1-888-386-9680. 

Things to Look For in a Benefits Administrator

Every year, health care costs continue to rise, employee benefits continue to become more complex, and employees continue to expect more from their benefits.  Companies of all sizes are realizing the advantages of working with a Benefits Administrator, like BASE®, who have the knowledge and know-how on providing a winning benefit strategy that is in compliance, helping their employees save on health care costs.

There are so many things to look for in a Benefits Administrator.  Check out a few below. 

Excellent Customer Service.  A Benefits Administrator with excellent customer service has experienced employees that openly communicate with, and support, their clients from the first phone call past the point of sale.

BASE®, while providing excellent customer service, offers full ongoing support, continued education on benefits, and tax savings solutions.  

Easy Access to Benefits.  Technology has made everything easier in life – same can be said for a business’ benefits package.  A company needs a Benefits Administrator who can offer a comprehensive, easy-to-use benefit option.

BASE® has an online portal that employers and employees login, while BASE® Business Partners can track their clients, find easy-to-use tools and resources to educate clients, and stay current with BASE® products and services. 

Compliance.  Consumer-driven plans, such as Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) are mandated by rules and regulations, and compliance.  Steep penalties can be issued if these pre-tax plans are found not in compliance.  A knowledgeable Benefits Administrator has the experience to know that all businesses offering business-sponsored insurance benefits, even with one employee, require an ERISA Wrap.

BASE® provides exceptional benefit plans in conjunction with the ERISA Wrap that will keep a business in compliance.  BASE® will provide the business with documents designed to wrap around existing certificates of insurance and benefit plan booklets to provide the necessary required provisions and information required to comply with ERISA. 

Experience and Knowledge.  Aspects of health care benefits can change each year which can cause stress and frustration in an HR department.  Having an experienced and knowledgeable Benefits Administrator in the business’ corner can help them have the best benefits plan customized to their needs.

BASE® staff is 100% involved with their clients, helping a variety of businesses across the country save thousands on health care expenses with easy-to-use benefit options, and provide compliance services to help business owners eliminate risks. 

Is Successful.  A successful Benefits Administrator is dedicated to their clients, helping them improve their employee benefits package and save money.  

BASE® has been in business for 20 years, has helped over 35,000 employers save valuable tax dollars, and their commitment is just as strong today as it was on the first day they opened their doors for business! 

Suzanne S, a BASE® Business Partner has referred her clients to BASE® since 2016 and has watched her clients have great success!  “I refer clients to BASE® because I believe in what they are doing. I know I have a good reliable source to help my clients get the most out of their tax benefits, and they deliver current and consistent information. BASE® walks clients through the process and sets them up with the plan that best fits their situation, and I believe this will help clients save on tax dollars and benefit them greatly.  It is a process as much as the product.  Not only does BASE® help small business owners, but you receive professional service and answers to all of your questions.” 

BASE® can provide a business with more than just benefits administration.   BASE® can save employers time, money, and keep them in compliance.  For more information about BASE® and what they have to offer, call 1-888-386-9680 or visit www.BASEonline.com