Preparing for ACA’s Employer Reporting Requirements
Until recently, an employer’s ACA compliance efforts have largely gone unchecked by the Internal Revenue Service. However, beginning in 2016, employers and plan administrators will be required to report their ACA compliance efforts to the federal government. ACA’s reporting requirements go into effect for health coverage provided during the 2015 calendar year, with the first information returns due in the first quarter. Information reported will be used to confirm the eligibility of individual subsidies and enforce employer penalties.
Employers, or in the case of multiemployer plans, the plan administrator, will be required to provide detailed information about the covered employees and the cost of health coverage they receive. One component of this reporting requires the plan to issue a form to all individuals covered under the plan providing details regarding the previous year’s coverage (the participant will in turn use this information to complete his individual income tax return).
An additional component of the reporting requires the multiemployer plan administrator (on behalf of the employer) to file a form directly with the IRS regarding the nature of coverage that it offers and details about the participants covered under the plan. Because of the large amount of information needed to comply, employers and plan sponsors should be gathering the necessary data and coordinating compliance efforts among plan professionals.