Levin Floor Statement on H.R. 5447

Jun 21, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI) today delivered the following remarks on the House Floor in support of H.R. 5447, a bill that would permit small employers to offer Health Reimbursement Arrangements to their employees to purchase health insurance in the individual marketplaces:

(Remarks as delivered)

“One of the reforms in the Affordable Care Act banned employer-sponsored health plans from placing annual dollar limits on benefits paid by the plan to a beneficiary.

“This is typically good policy, as, for example, we don’t want patients with cancer finding out their insurance company only pays a set amount for their treatment and no more.

“But it has had the unintended effect of prohibiting stand-alone Health Reimbursement Arrangements, because they are employer-sponsored health plans under which benefits are limited to a specified dollar amount.

“HRAs are typically used by beneficiaries for out-of-pocket medical expenses, such as meeting an insurance plan’s annual deductible or co-pays for doctor and other medical provider visits. HRAs can also be used to pay for premiums for health insurance coverage. 

“This bill before us would permit small employers to offer stand-alone HRAs to their employees—referred to as a ‘qualified small employer HRA.’ This bill would also permit the use of the qualified small employer HRAs to purchase coverage in the ACA’s public marketplaces.

“I am pleased to see my Republican colleagues recognizing the benefit of the ACA marketplaces and the coverage they offer to millions of Americans. This bill is yet another important way to support the ACA, ensuring more Americans have the health coverage and flexibility they need through the marketplaces. I urge my colleagues to support this bill.”