TREASURY DEP'T EXTENDS ACA EMPLOYER-REPORTING DEADLINES--Employers with 50 or more full time employees now have until March 31--two months beyond the Affordable Care Act's original Feb. 1 deadline--to give individual employees forms that report offers of 2015 health coverage and the coverage provided. These are the Form 1095-B, Health Coverage (http://1.usa.gov/1TCPBEL), and the Form 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage (http://1.usa.gov/1JW3XdL). The Treasury Department also gave affected employers more time to file information returns with the IRS on 2015 health care coverage. The new deadlines for reporting to the IRS are May 31 for employers who file returns on paper, and June 30 for electronic filers—three months later than the original deadlines of Feb. 29 and March 31. The IRS announced the extensions last week in Notice 2016-4: http://1.usa.gov/1ZM2zDN
IRS EXTENDED THE DEADLINES AFTER FEEDBACK FROM EMPLOYERS AND INSURERS struggling with the ACA's new paperwork and reporting requirements. These rules take effect for the first time this year for all "applicable large employers" as well as for employers, insurers and others who provide minimum essential coverage. The NRA and its allies in the E-FLEX (Employers for Flexibility in Health Care) coalition have played a critical role in providing feedback to the Treasury Department about the difficulty employers have had setting up processes to collect, analyze and report new data to employees and the IRS.
DEADLINE EXTENSIONS DON'T GET TO THE HEART OF THE PROBLEM, THOUGH. We need Congress to streamline and simplify the reporting rules. This is one of our top health-care legislative priorities for 2016, along with getting Congress to pass bipartisan bills that would increase the "full-time" definition under the ACA to 40 hours a week, rather than 30.
NRA ALSO HAILS CHANGES IN ACA TAXES--We’re very pleased that the spending bill enacted into law last month (the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016) included ACA tax changes we strongly support. First, it suspends the Health Insurance Tax (HIT) on fully insured health plans for calendar year 2017. We’ll continue to press for repeal, since it’s widely expected that insurers will pass this tax along to small businesses that buy in the fully insured market. The spending law also delays for two years the 40 percent excise tax (a.k.a. “Cadillac tax”) on employer-sponsored health plans. The delay pushes the effective date back from plan years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2018, to plan years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2020. Additionally, the excise tax can now be deductible as a business expense.