Wednesday, May 2, 2012

ACA reporting: simplify, simplify

Having mandated that most individuals receive minimum essential coverage, the ACA also includes the inevitable rules requiring government agencies to track compliance with the mandate. The IRS in turn is now seeking help from employers and others to suggest ways to make the reporting rules as simple as possible.

Beginning in 2015, most large employers will be required to begin reporting to the IRS certain information on employer-provied health care coverage provided on or after January 1, 2014. Information to be reported includes the dates employees were covered by minimum essential coverage during the calendar year. 

This new reporting requirement will affect health insurance issuers, government agencies, employers that sponsor self-insured plans, and other persons that provide minimum essential coverage to an individual. Minimum essential coverage includes individual health insurance coverage, eligible employer-sponsored plans, and government-sponsored coverage such as Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE, and veterans’ health care.
Notice 2012-32 provides a list of issues the IRS is considering as it develops the reporting requirements. Interested employers should review the list of issues and offer any comments by June 11, 2012. Comments may be sent to or via mail. The IRS will then proceed to issue a proposed rule on the topic.
Issues the IRS is seeking help on include the following:
1. How to determine when an individual's coverage begins and ends for purposes of reporting the dates of coverage.
2. How to minimize duplication between the reporting by health insurance issuers and employers under Code Sec. 6055 and the reporting by Exchanges under Code Sec. 36B(f)(3).
3. How to coordinate and minimize duplication between the reporting under the various requirements for employers that sponsor self-insured plans, including the potential combined reporting provided for under the ACA in Code Sec. 6056(d).

Not surprisingly, in Notice 2012-33, the IRS makes a similar request for comments regarding the information required from large employers regarding employer-provided health care coverage under Code Sec. 6056.

For a comprehensive analysis of the ACA, and additional information on health reform and other developments in employee benefits, just click here.


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