ACA Mandated Reporting: Delayed Again
The requirement for ALE (Applicable Large Employers [>50 FTE]) to report employee health insurance eligibility and coverage in 2016 to the Federal Government will come with a little more time again this year. 2015 reporting, which was done in 2016 and was the first year of required reporting under the ACA Employer Responsibility provision, ended up having an extension, as well. This year the reporting was to be completed by the original annual deadline of January 31, 2017. On Friday, November 19th the IRS released a decision to again allow for an extension to the deadline on 2016 reporting (https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-16-70.pdf).
Specifically, this notice extends the due date for furnishing to individuals the 2016 Form 1095-B, Health Coverage, and the 2016 Form 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage, from January 31, 2017, to March 2, 2017. These forms notify both the Department of Treasury and the enrollee about who had qualified health insurance coverage, and if it was deemed affordable under the ACA. The added time will allow employers to fully review their information and hopefully reduce the number of corrections needed.
The original intent of the law was to ensure that enrollees would have their forms in hand prior to completing their personal tax returns. Again this year, the IRS has decided these forms will not be necessary in completing personal tax returns and that they can use information from their employers to prove they have qualified and affordable coverage.
Something interesting to consider: this extension of reporting means the requirement is being moved a month into the Trump administration. President Elect Trump has stated, along with his allies (well, they’re his allies now) in Congress, that deconstructing the ACA is their first order of business. We’ll just have to see how quickly the wheels of bureaucracy can move and if it will affect 2016 reporting, and beyond. We’ll keep you posted!