The final forms and instructions for reporting ACA were published by the Internal Revenue Services In the first week of October 2017. This is to help employers prepare the report of the healthcare provided by them to their employees. Even though there have been a lot of repeal-and-replace endeavor in the Congress, ACA reporting deadlines have to be met by the employers. They are expected to keep up the full compliance in the year 2017. The transitional relief and good faith were stopped by 2016.
The employers should be aware of the following compliance issues while preparing their ACA reports for the year 2017. These must be filed with the IRS in early 2018. The forms must be distributed to the employees to be duly filled by them and returned to the employer. Let us understand the compliance issues related to these:
1.Requirements of reporting
The final forms and instructions for filing are the following
- Form 1095-B – Health Coverage and Form 1095-C – Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage to be submitted to employees by 31 Jan 2018 latest for the year 2017.
- Form 1094-B – Transmittal form accompanying and Form 1094-C – Transmittal form along with copies of 1095-B and 1095-C to be submitted to IRS in hard copy by 28 Feb 2018.
- Form 1094-B – Transmittal form accompanying and Form 1094-C – Transmittal form along with copies of 1095-B and 1095-C to be submitted to IRS electronically by 31 March 2018.
- Instructions for Forms 1094-B and 1095-B and Instructions for Forms 1094-C and 1095-C have also been published.
With effect from 01 Jan 2017, employers have to implement the provisions to ban discrimination by any of the self-funded health plans which receive federal financial assistance or being administered by an executive agency.
The section 1557 in ACA prohibits any kind of discrimination based on sex, color, race, national origin, disability or age. Also, discrimination based on pregnancy, sex stereotyping or gender identity in case of certain health programs and activities is prohibited.
The plans should also provide auxiliary aids or other services to the person with a disability and linguistic assistance to those who are not proficient in English.
3.The penalty provisions of ACA
Under Section 4980(H) if an ALE (Applicable Large Employer) has failed to offer the minimum essential health coverage to 95 percent of their employees for an entire calendar year and if any full-time employee derives premium tax credit for the coverage purchased on ACA exchange, the penalty for 2017 is $2260 per full-time employee deducting the first 30 employees.
Under Section 4980(H) (b) if an ALE offers coverage to at least 95 percent of their full-time employees but if any of these employees receive a premium tax credit for the reason that the coverage was not “affordable” or did not offer “minimum value”, then the penalty for the year 2017 is $3390 per full-time employee deducting the first 30 employees.
It is mandatory that all employers must provide health coverage to at least 95 percent of their full-time employees without discrimination based sex, color, race disability and so on. ACA reporting requirements have to be followed stringently and the reports filed by the stipulated deadlines failing which they will have to pay penalties.