Get ready to expand into new markets and grow your client base with the new alternative to the outdated traditional group coverage.
An Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Arrangement (ICHRA) allows employers to group employees into different classes, with each class receiving a different dollar amount to pay for health insurance premiums and other qualified costs.
Employers and employees will gain increased control over coverage while enjoying the tax breaks associated with ICHRA.
Learn how brokers fit into the growing ICHRA model!
Partner with Employers to Design Custom Solutions
The ICHRA model might benefit everyone involved, but brokers must first help employers get started.
Make sure to lay out all the benefits for employers during initial conversations to ensure that an ICHRA is a good fit for them.
- Defined Contributions: Businesses define their contributions for each employee.
- Flexibility with Defined Classes: Contributions are based on employee class. You can even offer group to some and ICHRA to others.
- Recruitment & Retention: Offer benefits to more of your employees to increase retention and attract new talent.
Switching to a new coverage model can be scary, especially for small businesses, but even brokers without ICHRA experience have a lot of valuable resources they can lend employers. Brokers are already putting together custom offerings that meet their groups needs and budget; ICHRA is just another feather to add to your cap.
Here’s a high-level overview of everything an employer needs to offer a seamless ICHRA experience.
To learn more about what is needed to get an employer set up with ICHRA, read our ICHRA Design Guide.
Support Employees with All Their ICHRA and Coverage Shopping Needs
Where brokers can really make a difference is through their interactions with employees. ICHRA does not come without risks; the transition from traditional employee coverage to the Marketplace can lead to some employees falling through the cracks. That’s where brokers come in!
Brokers are making a difference by reaching and communicating with at-risk populations with high uninsured rates. There’s something to be said about the personal approach to selling coverage. Sometimes affordability is not the issue, and gaps in coverage result from a lack of effective outreach or a disjointed enrollment process.
Having a broker on board can make or break a successful transition to ICHRA as they understand what employees need and have the knowledge to get them in the coverage that works for them.
Let’s review what makes ICHRA the right option for millions of employees.
- Increased Employee Choice: Employees pick the health insurance they want and can switch every year.
- More Value for Your Money: Over the last three years, premiums on the Individual Marketplace have decreased.
- Direct Relationship with Carrier: Employees own the relationship with the carrier and can change annually or bring their insurance wherever they go.
Brokers benefit from employees enrolling through ICHRA too. When employees aren’t tied down to traditional coverage through their employer, brokers can continue serving them if they leave the company or move to a different state. As much as employers are clients, with ICHRA, employees can also become lifelong partners with a broker.
Strengthen Broker Relationships with State-Based Marketplaces
Last but not least, ICHRA presents a unique opportunity for brokers to work directly with State-Based Marketplaces (SBMs). More and more buzz surrounds ICHRA, and states are beginning to take notice. Fueled by the desire to reach uninsured populations, SBMs are expanding their partnership with brokers and building separate shopping interfaces for small groups. We see this already with the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP).
Of the 13 SBMs, 5 are already talking about implementing ICHRA at an exchange level (the dark purple states). The light purple states are where W3LL has significant broker relationships that can easily turn into a SBM partnership. With more states flocking to the SBM model and more employers moving towards ICHRA, brokers must be ready to make their move.
Establishing a robust Portal for brokers allows them to grow and retain membership and capitalize on new opportunities. W3LL’s ICHRA strategy is to provide brokers with an easy-to-use platform to quote, enroll, renew, and maintain their ICHRA beneficiaries. With this strategy, our Broker Portal is the initial and primary point of entry point for the brokers.
With nearly two decades in health insurance, Pete English’s diverse experience makes him uniquely qualified to help health plans and brokers leverage innovative technology in partnership with W3LL. From growing sales staff by 126% over 4 years at a large health plan, to building his own health insurance brokerage firm with over $7.2MM in annualized premium, Pete has done it all.