The Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) reporting requirements for employers shifts into high gear this year. In 2016, for the first time, employers who sponsor group health plans are required to file annual returns with the IRS describing their health plans and the health plan choices made by their employees. The reporting requirements apply to all employers with 50 or more full-time employees (including full-time equivalent employees) that provide insured plans and all employers, regardless of size, that provide self-insured health coverage to their employees. Here’s how it works. By March 31, 2016, employers must supply a completed Form 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage, to each of its full-time employees. This form must be provided regardless of whether the employer offers health coverage, or the employee enrolls in any coverage offered. The employee will use the form to file his or her 2015 Form 1040. By May 31 (or June 30 if filing electronically), each employer must file a Form 1095-C for each of its full-time employees and a Form 1094-C, Transmittal of Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage Information Returns. Form 1094-C is used to report to the IRS summary information about the employer and any health plan it offers and to transmit Forms 1095-C regarding all full-time employees to the IRS. The purpose of the Forms 1095-C and Form 1094-C is to allow the IRS to determine whether an employer owes a penalty under the Shared Responsibility provisions of the ACA. If you are subject to the new IRS reporting requirements, you should consider contacting an ERISA attorney to advise you in these cases:
- If you don’t offer your employees minimum essential coverage, what are the penalties you will have to pay versus the cost of providing affordable health care to your employees;
- If you offer your employees health coverage, do you need assistance completing the new annual returns that are due to employees by March 31 (extended last month from January 31) and the returns you will need to file with the IRS by May 31 (or electronically by June 30), which deadlines were extended last month from February 29 and March 31, respectively.
Act now while there is still time to ensure that your business complies with ERISA and the federal ACA and to explore alternatives that could save you money.
About Theodore P. Stein
Theodore P. Stein is an attorney with more than 30 years of experience who counsels employers, their plans and plan trustees to minimize the risk of ERISA claims and represents them when litigation is threatened or filed. He is a Principal in the firm’s Labor and Employment Group and is based in Bethesda.