The Affordable Care Act received a lot of media coverage this year. There was the repeal and replace votes in Congress. Then the withholding of federal subsidies for state healthcare exchanges and most recently the filing by a Texas federal judge that the entire law is unconstitutional because of the “individual mandate provision”.
Despite all the media coverage and talk about changing/scrapping ACA, the end result is that there is no immediate impact on Employers for 2018. Employers need to be prepared to file the 2018 1095-C. But there are some important filing updates.
The IRS has extended filing deadlines:
Health insurers and applicable large employers (ALEs) are required to file and furnish annual information returns and coverage statements to employees or covered individuals. For 2018 Forms 1095-B and 1095-C filing requirements have not changed. Employers will need to provide individuals with Forms 1095-B, Health Coverage, or Forms 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage. But the filing deadline is now March 4, 2019, a 5 week extension from the original due date of January 31.
Employer penalty relief
The IRS also is giving employers relief from late-filing penalties as long as they can show they made good faith efforts to comply with reporting requirements. This is for both individual statements and information returns that have missing or inaccurate taxpayer identification numbers and dates of birth, as well as other required information.
In determining good faith, the IRS will take into account whether an employer or other coverage provider made reasonable efforts to prepare for reporting and providing the required information.
Employers that cannot file timely forms should still file the overdue forms as soon as possible, because the IRS will take the late forms into account in determining whether to abate the late-filing penalties.
Texas ruling does not change ACA filing requirements
Recently, a federal judge in Texas ruled that the entirety of the ACA was unconstitutional due to changes made to the tax code last year. He said, in short, that eliminating the individual tax penalty made the whole law unworkable.
This ruling has no impacts to current or 2019 coverage and no changes to enrollment through healthcare.gov or through state-run Marketplaces. The judge did not issue an injunction with his ruling, so the law and the employer requirements remain in effect for now.
As we wrap up the year, there are no changes to employers' ACA responsibilities or filing requirements. Employers should be taking steps to prepare the 1094 and 1095 forms to comply with ACA filing deadlines. OnePoint's Unified HCM suite unifies HR, time, benefits and payroll data to deliver a comprehensive ACA Compliance management solution.