Insurance plan binder An ICHRA fills in the gaps for employers looking for a benefit that more closely resembles group health insurance but has the advantages of the reimbursement model. (Photo: Shutterstock)

One lesson of the pandemic is that employees want more control over the features and cost of their health insurance.

This is the principle behind the individual coverage health reimbursement arrangement, or ICHRA. Under this model, employees shop for their own individual insurance plan and are reimbursed by their employer. The government began working on the rule that would create ICHRA in 2017 and released the final rule in June 2019. Employers are quickly embracing the option, with a 219% increase in the number of organizations that signed up to offer an ICHRA in the second half of 2020 compared to the first half of the year, according to new data from PeopleKeep.

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