IRS postpones ACA reporting deadline

Insurers and employers still have to get coverage notices to the IRS by March 31. (Photo: Allison Bell/LHP)
Insurers and employers still have to get coverage notices to the IRS by March 31. (Photo: Allison Bell/LHP)

The Internal Revenue Service is giving health insurers, group health insurance plan sponsors, and sponsors of self-funded employer health plans more time to get coverage summary notices to the enrollees.

The IRS has pushed the deadline for getting 1095-B and 1095-C coverage notices to the enrollees back to March 2, from Jan. 31.

The parties that send the notices still have to file the coverage information with the IRS by March 31.

Parties that file the information on paper, rather than electronically, must get the information to the IRS by Feb. 28.

Related: IRS tackles 1095-B versus 1095-C filing confusion

The IRS is also expanding an existing effort to help insurers and employers that are having trouble complying with the reporting rules. The IRS says it will give relief to insurers, employers and self-funded plan sponsors that make a good-faith effort to get accurate Social Security numbers, middle initials and dates of birth from current or former enrollees but are unable to get the information.

“No relief is provided in the case of reporting entities that do not make a good-faith effort to comply with the regulations or that fail to file an information return or furnish a statement by the due dates,” IRS officials say.

The IRS announced the 1095-B and 1095-C deadline change, and the expanded good-faith relief rules, in IRS Notice 2016-70.

Form 1095-B and Form 1095-C

The Affordable Care Act now requires many employers to offer “minimum essential coverage,” or affordable health coverage with a minimum value, or else pay a penalty.

The ACA also requires many individuals to own a minimum level of health coverage for much of the year or else pay a penalty.

The ACA public exchange system offers premium tax credits to many people who lack access to employer-sponsored minimum essential coverage.

The IRS developed a new set of “information reporting” forms to help insurers and employers to keep track of what coverage they’ve offered, and to help individuals show what coverage they do or don’t have.

The ACA exchanges themselves use Form 1095-A to show what kind of health coverage and premium tax credit help they have provided for ACA exchange users.

Insurers and small employers that sponsor small self-insured plans use Form 1095-B to report on the coverage provided by their insurance policies or self-insured plans.

Employers that sponsor insured group health plans or large self-insured plans use Form 1095-C to report on the coverage they have provided, or not provided, for their workers.

A new presidential administration will take over from the Obama administration Jan. 20. That means the new administration will be responsible for enforcing both the March 2 deadline for sending the 1095-B and 1095-C forms to individuals and the March 31 deadline for sending copies of the forms to the IRS.

Related:

Employers face ACA Social Security number reporting snarl

Second PPACA tax season rumbles to a close

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