The Biden administration has withdrawn recent final regulations (TD 9949) on Healthcare Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) pending review. The final regulations had substantially adopted the proposed regulations issued in September 2019, with certain modifications.
The final regulations were withdrawn before they were published in the Federal Register but could still become effective later. President Joe Biden issued a regulatory freeze memo on Jan. 20, which required, among other directions, the withdrawal of all regulations that had not become effective before Jan. 20. In accordance with the memo, the withdrawn regulations will be reviewed by representatives of the new administration and will not become final unless and until they are subsequently published in the Federal Register.
The withdrawn regulations addressed how the employer shared responsibility provisions under the Affordable Care Act and the applicable nondiscrimination requirements apply to HRAs and other account-based group health plans integrated with individual health insurance coverage or Medicare (individual coverage HRAs). The withdrawn regulations also provided safe harbors for both the employer shared responsibility provisions and nondiscrimination requirements.
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