Groups Ask IRS for Flexibility in ACA Reporting Rules

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By Kristen Ricaurte Knebel

Nov. 17 — The Internal Revenue Service should adopt broad rules to allow employers flexibility when it comes to the Affordable Care Act's requirement to report supplemental health coverage, employer groups said in comment letters.

The American Benefits Council asked the Internal Revenue Service to adopt “the broadest possible rule” so as to limit the need to report supplemental health coverage, while the National Business Group on Health asked the IRS to allow providers to only report minimum essential coverage enrollment one time if they provide multiple plans covering the same individual.

America's Health Insurance Plans said in its letter that it supports rules that clarify how minimum essential coverage is reported when an individual is covered through two or more plans offering such coverage at the same time. The group recommended that the IRS issue rules that require only one minimum essential coverage plan be reported if the plans are provided by the same entity and if the individual is only able to enroll in supplemental coverage if they are also enrolled in primary coverage.

The letters—dated Nov. 16—were in response to IRS Notice 2015-68, which said the agencies plan to propose regulations on several discrete issues related to information reporting on minimum essential health-care coverage under the Affordable Care Act (182 HCDR, 9/21/15). 

The letters also addressed statements to be sent to individuals in expatriate health plans, with the ABC asking the IRS and the Treasury Department to consider ways to liberalize the rules in this area to “allow domestic health plans additional leeway to furnish statements to individuals in electronic format.”

The AHIP and the NBGH also said they support rules allowing electronic reporting of minimum essential coverage to individuals in expatriate health plans unless workers request otherwise.

For More Information

For more information, see Compensation and Benefit Library's “Tax Aspects of Health Plans Under the Affordable Care Act” chapter.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kristen Ricaurte Knebel in Washington at kknebel@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jo-el J. Meyer at jmeyer@bna.com