While the future of the ACA hangs in the balance, the fact remains that the law is still in existence until those critical decisions are made. As such, ACA mandates and regulations – both old and new – need to be strictly adhered to.
Below is a quick round up of changes to the ACA that are coming down the pike for 2017… at least for the foreseeable future.
And while some deadlines have changed, the big ones for employers remain the same: Forms 1094-B, 1095-B, 1094-C and 1095-C are due to IRS on Feb 28, 2017 if filing on paper, and by March 31, 2017 if filing electronically.
As of April 1, 2017 all are expected to use the new SBC template to distribute coverage details and information to employees.
HR360 reports that the IRS has extended the due dates for furnishing 2016 Forms 1095-B and 1095-C to covered individuals and full-time employees, respectively, from January 31, 2017, to March 2, 2017.
The IRS is extending good faith penalty relief to reporting entities who can show they made good faith efforts to comply with the calendar year 2016 information reporting requirements.
The IRS has increased the fees certain self-insured healthcare plans must pay annually for the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) from $2.17 to $2.26 per covered employee. The increased fees apply to plan years that end on or after October 1, 2016 and before October 1, 2017.
US Citizenship and Immigration Services has released a new I-9 form, effective January 22, 2017. The I-9 Form is used to verify the identify and employment authorization of citizens and non-citizens to affirm they are legally able to work in the United States. The form must be filled out for each employee in an organization. The new form is a “smart” document that can be easily filled out on a computer (or on paper) but will require a non-electronic signature. The previous I-9 Form can be used through January 21, 2017, after which employers will be required to use the new form.
According to HR360, Health and Human Services updated the annual cost-sharing limits for 2018 to $7,350 for self-only coverage or $14,700 for family coverage. For 2017, cost-sharing limits may not exceed $7,150 for self-only coverage and $14,300 for family coverage
Final guidance opt-out arrangements (when employers offer employees a cash payment to decline employer-sponsored coverage) was expected at the end of 2016, but the IRS has postponed this timeline saying that it will instead come at a “later time.” In the meantime, employers who use opt-out arrangements can rely on IRS Notice 2015-87 and a recent proposed rule for guidance.
And finally, for all of your pressing questions about the ACA and the employer mandate, the IRS has released updated and expanded Q&As on reporting requirements and shared responsibility provisions:
Employers can download our easy-to-use, comprehensive handbook to help their organizations stay in compliance with the ACA - The Nonstop Guide to ACA Penalties for 2016:
The information and materials herein are provided for general information purposes only and are not intended to constitute legal or other advice or opinions on any specific matters and are not intended to replace the advice of a qualified attorney, plan provider or other professional advisor. This information has been taken from sources believed to be reliable, but there is no guarantee as to its accuracy. In accordance with IRS Circular 230, this communication is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used as or considered a ‘covered opinion’ or other written tax advice and should not be relied upon for any purpose other than its intended purpose