Small Business Health Care Relief Act (S. 3060, H.R. 5447): Legislation to Allow for Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRAs)

By at 21 June, 2016, 4:10 pm

UPDATE:  H.R. 5447 passed the House by voice vote on June 22.  The bill has now been referred to the Senate where the Rule 14 process has begun, which means it can immediately be placed on the calendar for a vote.   

The Honorable Charles Grassley

U.S. Senate

135 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, D. C. 20510


The Honorable Heidi Heitkamp

U.S. Senate

110 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510


The Honorable Charles Boustany

U.S. House of Representatives

1431 Longworth House Office Building

Washington, D.C.  20515


The Honorable Mike Thompson

U.S. House of Representatives

231 Cannon House Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20515


Dear Senator Grassley, Senator Heitkamp, Representative Boustany, and Representative Thompson:

On behalf of the undersigned businesses, national, state and local trade associations, and organizations representing millions of American workers and their families, we write in support of the Small Business Health Care Relief Act (S. 3060, H.R. 5447). We appreciate your leadership in introducing this legislation, which will allow small businesses to provide Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) to employees with health insurance. These HRAs will permit businesses to offer pre-tax dollars to insured employees to help pay premiums and/or other out-of-pocket costs associated with medical care and services.

In 2013, the Internal Revenue Service issued guidance dictating that all employers that fail to offer a group health plan, but provide tax preferred dollars through an HRA for their workers to pay health insurance premiums or other direct medical expenses, will be fined $100 per day, per employee. Over the course of a year, that is $36,500 per employee and up to $500,000 in total. This $100 per day penalty went into effect on July 1, 2015.

The Small Business Health Care Relief Act will allow small businesses that are not subject to the shared responsibility provision to provide HRAs to help their workers and families pay for premiums and/or other medical expenses. This provides small employers with necessary additional flexibility and allows those small companies – the majority of whom do not have human resource departments or benefits specialists – a simpler, easier way to help their employees with rising medical costs.

This is a bipartisan opportunity to improve affordable health care options for small businesses, and we urge Congress to move swiftly to pass this vital legislation so that more small employers can help their workers defray the high cost of insurance premiums and/or other out-of-pocket medical expenses. Thank you for considering our views.

Air Conditioning Contractors of America American

Dental Association American

Farm Bureau Federation American

Horticulture Industry Association – AmericanHort®

American Independent Business Coalition

American Rental Association

American Subcontractors Association, Inc.

America’s Business Benefit Association

Associated Builders and Contractors

Associated General Contractors

Auto Care Association

Communicating for America, Inc.

Council for Affordable Health Coverage

Door and Hardware Institute

Family Business Coalition

Global Cold Chain Alliance

Healthcare Leadership Council

Heating, Air-conditioning & Refrigeration

Distributors International Insurance Benefits and Advisors, LLC

International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses

International Franchise Association

LyfeBank Mid-American

Lumbermens Association

National Association for the Self-Employed

National Association of Home Builders

National Association of Manufacturers

National Association of the Remodeling Industry

National Association of Towns and Townships

National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors

National Christmas Tree Association

National Club Association

National Electrical Contractors Association

National Electrical Manufacturers Representatives Association

National Federation of Independent Business

National Grange

National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association

National Marine Distributors Association

National Restaurant Association

National Retail Federation

National Small Business Association


The Association for Suppliers of Printing, Publishing, and Converting Technologies

Outdoor Power Equipment and Engine Service Association

Padgett Business Services

Pet Industry Distributors Association

Petroleum Marketers Association of America

Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors-National Association

Promotional Products Association

International Retail Industry Leaders Association

Sanofi Saturation Mailers Coalition

Service Station Dealers of America and Allied Trades

Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council

Small Business Council of America

Small Business Legislative Council

Small Business Majority

SMART, Secondary Materials and Recycled Textile Association

Society of American Florists

Southern Consumers Alliance

Specialty Equipment Market Association

Specialty Tools & Fasteners Distributors Association

Textile Care Allied Trades Association

The Latino Coalition

Tire Industry Association

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Western Equipment Dealers Association

WEX Health Window and Door Manufacturers Association

Zane Benefits

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