IRS Asks for Comments on Employer Reporting of Health Insurance Coverage Under Affordable Care Act

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The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the Act) imposes new, substantive requirements on health insurance issuers in the group and individual markets and employer-sponsored group health plans. In two recently issued notices, Notice 2012-32 and 2012-33, the IRS invited comments on reporting requirements that accompany certain of the Act’s requirements that apply to all issuers and plans that provide “minimum essential coverage” and to “applicable large employers” under the Act’s shared responsibility requirements.

Notice 2012-32

Where a non-exempt US citizen or green card holder is covered under an employer plan that provides “minimum essential coverage,” he or she will not be subject to a tax penalty under the Act’s individual mandate. (The Act defines “minimum essential coverage” to include health insurance coverage offered in the individual market, an eligible employer-sponsored plan, or government-sponsored coverage, such as Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, TRICARE, or veterans’ health care.) In order to track compliance, the Act added Internal Revenue Code § 6055, which imposes reporting requirements on state-licensed insurance carriers, government agencies, employers that sponsor self-insured plans, and other entities that provide minimum essential coverage. This new reporting requirement applies to minimum essential coverage provided on or after January 1, 2014. Thus, the first information returns under these rules will be filed in 2015.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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