Wednesday, April 18, 2012

IRS proposed rule would implement health insurance fee to fund research trust fund

The IRS has issued proposed regulations that implement and provide guidance on the fees imposed by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on issuers of certain health insurance policies and plan sponsors of certain self-insured health plans to fund the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund. The proposed regulations impact the issuers and plan sponsors that are required to pay those fees.

Internal Revenue Code Sec. 4375 imposes fees on issuers of specified health insurance policies which include only accident and health insurance policies that are issued with respect to an individual residing in the United States. Code Sec. 4376 imposes fees on plan sponsors of applicable self-insured health plans.

The proposed regulations provide methods for determining the amount of the fees imposed on the issuers and sponsors. The fees will be used to fund the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. The Institute will assist, through research, patients, clinicians, purchasers, and policy-makers, in making informed health decisions by advancing the quality and relevance of evidence-based medicine through the synthesis and dissemination of comparative clinical effectiveness research findings. The proposed regulations also address procedural issues such as the reporting and payment of the fees.

The proposed regulations specifically request comments concerning the following issues:
  • Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the IRS, including whether the information will have practical utility;
  • How the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected may be enhanced;
  • How the burden of complying with the proposed collection of information may be minimized, including through the application of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and
  • Estimates of capital or start-up costs and costs of operation, maintenance, and purchase of services to provide information.
Comments and hearing. Written or electronic comments must be received by July 16, 2012. Requests to speak and outlines of topics to be discussed at the public hearing scheduled for Wednesday, August 8, 2012, at 10:00 a.m., must be received by July 30, 2012. The public hearing will be held in the IRS Auditorium at the Internal Revenue Building, 1111 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, D.C.

Submissions should be sent to CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG-136008-11), Internal Revenue Service, PO Box 7604, Ben Franklin Station, Washington D.C. 20044. Submissions may also be hand-delivered Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG-136008-11), Courier’s Desk, Internal Revenue Service, 1111 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, D.C., or sent electronically via the Federal eRulemaking Portal at (IRS REG-136008-11).


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