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As part of the Employers for Flexibility in Health Care (E-FLEX) Coalition, ABC Nov. 7 submitted comments to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in response to Sept. 9 proposed rules on information reporting by applicable large employers on health insurance coverage offered under employer-sponsored plans and information reporting of minimum essential coverage.

The proposed regulations relate to the Affordable Care Act’s employer and insurer information reporting requirements under Internal Revenue Code sections 6055 and 6056. 

Section 6056 applies to large employers (with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees) subject to the employer mandate.  Applicable large employers are required to report to the IRS information about their compliance with the employer mandate provisions and the health care coverage they have offered to employees.  Further, they are required to provide related statements to each full-time employee.

Under section 6055, health insurance issuers and self-insuring employers that provide minimum essential health coverage to individuals must report to the IRS information about the type and period of coverage and furnish related statements to covered individuals.  

In the comments, the E-FLEX Coalition urged the Obama administration to offer options for streamlined reporting processes that are viable for employers with differing workforces.  The coalition strongly supports the development of a streamlined reporting process that:

1) helps individuals by minimizing the prospects of employees being subjected to repayment of advanced premium assistance tax credits for which eligibility was inaccurately determined; and

2) reduces unnecessary administrative burden while facilitating the simplified administration of the employer responsibility provisions under section 4980H, premium assistance tax credits under section 36B, and the individual shared responsibility requirements under section 5000A.

Additionally, the comments discuss:

  • Balancing the benefits and the burdens of reporting
  • Simplifying reporting through certification
  • Using prospective reporting to improve accuracy of eligibility determinations
  • Evaluating opportunities to simplify reporting under proposed alternative
  • methods
  • Streamlining delivery of notices
  • Making the proposed general reporting method more workable
  • Weighing the cost of compliance to employers

E-FLEX is a coalition of leading trade associations and businesses in retail, restaurant, hospitality, supermarket, construction, temporary staffing and other service-related industries, as well as employer-sponsored health plans insuring millions of American workers.  Through comment letters and meetings, members of the coalition have been working with administration officials to help ensure that employer-sponsored coverage—the backbone of the U.S. health care system—remains a competitive option for all full-time, part-time, temporary and seasonal employees.  

Additional comments submitted by E-FLEX related to information reporting can be found here.

Please note that Notice 2013-45 provides transition relief for 2014 from the section 6055 and 6056 information reporting requirements. The IRS will not impose penalties for failure to timely and accurately report under sections 6055 and 6056 for coverage in 2014. The information reporting will be fully effective for 2015.