Mark J. Mazur
Over the past
several months, the Administration has been engaging in a dialogue with
businesses - many of which already provide health coverage for their workers - about
the new employer and insurer reporting requirements under the Affordable Care
Act (ACA). We have heard concerns about
the complexity of the requirements and the need for more time to implement them
effectively. We recognize that the vast
majority of businesses that will need to do this reporting already provide
health insurance to their workers, and we want to make sure it is easy for
others to do so. We have listened to
your feedback. And we are taking
Administration is announcing that it will provide an additional year before the
ACA mandatory employer and insurer reporting requirements begin. This is designed to meet two goals. First, it will allow us to consider ways to
simplify the new reporting requirements consistent with the law. Second, it will provide time to adapt health
coverage and reporting systems while employers are moving toward making health
coverage affordable and accessible for their employees. Within the next week, we will publish formal
guidance describing this transition. Just
like the Administration’s effort to turn the initial 21-page application for
health insurance into a three-page application, we are working hard to adapt
and to be flexible about reporting requirements as we implement the law.
Here is some
additional detail. The ACA includes
information reporting (under section 6055) by insurers, self-insuring
employers, and other parties that provide health coverage. It also requires information reporting (under
section 6056) by certain employers with respect to the health coverage offered
to their full-time employees. We expect
to publish proposed rules implementing these provisions this summer, after a
dialogue with stakeholders - including those responsible employers that already
provide their full-time work force with coverage far exceeding the minimum
employer shared responsibility requirements - in an effort to minimize the
reporting, consistent with effective implementation of the law.
rules have been issued, the Administration will work with employers, insurers,
and other reporting entities to strongly encourage them to voluntarily
implement this information reporting in 2014, in preparation for the full
application of the provisions in 2015.
Real-world testing of reporting systems in 2014 will contribute to a
smoother transition to full implementation in 2015.
that this transition relief will make it impractical to determine which
employers owe shared responsibility payments (under section 4980H) for
2014. Accordingly, we are extending this
transition relief to the employer shared responsibility payments. These payments will not apply for 2014. Any employer shared responsibility payments
will not apply until 2015.
During this 2014
transition period, we strongly encourage employers to maintain or expand health
coverage. Also, our actions today do not
affect employees’ access to the premium tax credits available under the ACA
(nor any other provision of the ACA).
Mark J. Mazur is the Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy at the U.S. Department of the Treasury.