As you may have heard, the most recent attempts to repeal and replace the ACA failed when the United States Senate voted against three proposals - the Better Care Reconciliation Act, the Obamacare Repeal and Reconciliation Act, and the Health Care Freedom Act - over the course of four days. As a result, the ACA remains the law of the land, and employers with 50 or more employees must continue to offer affordable coverage to employees who work 30 or more hours per week on average.
On March 24, 2017, House Speaker Paul Ryan cancelled a scheduled vote on the American Health Care Act ("AHCA"), a proposal to partially repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, because it lacked enough support to pass. So, where does this leave the effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act? That's such a good question; if you know, please let me know ASAP.
On March 6, 2017, the American Health Care Act ("AHCA"), a proposal to partially repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, was introduced. The proposal is of course subject to amendment (and almost certainly will undergo some amendments), but in its current form, it would ease the burden that the ACA placed on employers. In brief, the AHCA retroactively removes the Employer Shared Responsibility Mandate as of 2016, meaning that employers with 50 or more employees will no longer be subject to penalties for failing to offer affordable coverage to full-time employees and their dependents, and would not be penalized if they failed to do so in 2016. However, and somewhat surprisingly, the AHCA does not remove the employer reporting requirements - meaning that large employers and employers who sponsor self-funded health plans would still be responsible for completing Forms 1094 and 1095.
Stop me if you've heard this one - an ACA-related deadline has been extended. In IRS Notice 2016-70 (available at https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-16-70.pdf), released on November 18, 2016, the IRS once again extended the deadline by which large employers must distribute a Form 1095 to their full-time employees from January 31, 2017 to March 2, 2017. In brief, the ACA requires large employers to complete two forms: a Form 1094, which is filed with the IRS; and a Form 1095, which is distributed to full-time employees. Significantly, this extension applies only to the Form 1095 employee distribution requirement; it does not extend the Form 1094 IRS reporting requirement. In light of the new and improved deadlines, the 2017 reporting requirements for large employers are below:
You may have already received a notice from the Department of Health and Human Services ("HHS"), notifying you that one or more of your employees enrolled in health coverage through the state health exchange. Significantly, although employers can appeal the notice, the notice is not a penalty - penalties will be assessed by the Internal Revenue Service in 2017. That being said, the notice could potentially lead to penalties, and should be appealed ... sometimes. So, how do you know whether you should to appeal a notice?