Employ­er flex con­tri­bu­tions will reduce the amount of an employee’s pre­mi­um con­tri­bu­tion only if the amount may not be tak­en as cash, is used to pur­chase min­i­mum essen­tial cov­er­age and may only be used for med­ical care (as per IRC Code Sec­tion 213)

Cash in lieu of ben­e­fits does not apply to the afford­abil­i­ty analysis

Employ­er con­tri­bu­tions to Health Reim­burse­ment Arrange­ments (HRA) may reduce the employee’s required con­tri­bu­tion for afford­abil­i­ty for the employ­er man­date – thus the amount that an employ­er has agreed to con­tribute to an HRA reduces the amount the employ­ee is deemed to “owe” for their health insur­ance (e.g. $1,200 HRA tech­ni­cal­ly reduces the count­ed pre­mi­um for the employ­ee by $100 per month, even though it does not sup­port the premium)