IRS Releases 2017 Draft Versions of Healthcare Reporting Forms
On July 28, 2017, the IRS released draft versions of the 2017 informational reporting forms that insurers and self-insured employers will use to satisfy their obligations under IRC Section 6055 and that large employer plan sponsors and health plans will use to satisfy their obligations under IRC Section 6056. These forms, once finalized, will be filed in early 2018 relating to 2017 information. The IRS is currently accepting comments on the draft forms. Instructions for the forms have not yet been released.
As a reminder, Forms 1094-B and 1095-B (6055 reporting) are required of insurers and small self-insured employers that provide minimum essential coverage. These reports will help the IRS to administer and enforce the individual mandate. Form 1095-B, the form distributed to the covered employee, will identify the employee, any covered family members, the group health plan and the months in 2017 for which the employee and family members had minimum essential coverage under the employer's plan. Form 1094-B identifies the insurer or small self-insured employer and is used to transmit the corresponding Form 1095-B to the IRS.
Forms 1094-C and 1095-C (6056 reporting) are to be filed by applicable large employers that are subject to the employer mandate (as they will help the IRS administer and enforce the employer mandate). Employers will use Form 1095-C to identify the employer, the employee, whether the employer offered minimum value coverage meeting the affordability standard to the employee and dependents, the cost of the lowest plan option and the months for which the employee enrolled in coverage under the employer's plan. Further, if the plan is self-insured, the employer will use the form to fulfill its Section 6055 reporting obligations by indicating which months the employee and family members maintained minimum essential health coverage under the employer’s plan.
Whereas Form 1095-C reports coverage information at the participant level, Form 1094-C reports employer-level information to the IRS. The applicable large employer will use this form to identify the employer, number of employees, whether the employer is related to other entities under the employer aggregation rules and whether minimum essential coverage was offered.
The 2017 draft forms appear to have only a few minor changes compared to the 2016 forms. Highlights of the changes are as follows:
- 1094-B: Appears unchanged.
- 1094-C: Line 22, Option C, relating to Transition Relief has been removed. This relief was only applicable to the 2015 plan year. Option C remained on the 2016 form as non-calendar-year plans may have qualified for this relief for some months in 2016.
- 1095-B and 1095-C: While there were no changes to the body of these forms, a new paragraph in the Instructions for Recipients section refers individuals to an IRS webpage (or IRS Healthcare Hotline) for additional information regarding the individual shared responsibility provisions, the premium tax credit and the employer-shared responsibility provisions.
Despite efforts to repeal and replace the ACA, it remains the law of the land, and employers will need to continue with ACA compliance until further notice. This means that large employers will need to continue to offer affordable, minimum value coverage to all full-time employees and prepare to comply with employer reporting requirements as to 2017 coverage.