U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) introduced bipartisan legislation Oct. 3 that seeks to streamline the employer reporting requirements under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), to make it more flexible and less burdensome for employers.
The Commonsense Reporting Act of 2017 would ensure that the Treasury Department has the necessary data to determine availability of affordable coverage while cutting down on unnecessary paperwork and administrative costs for businesses.
NATSO endorsed the measure along with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Retail Industry Leaders Association, American Hotel and Lodging Association, National Association of Convenience Stores, National Association of Health Underwriters, National Association of Home Builders, National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors, National Business Group on Health, National Federation of Independent Business, National Grocers Association, National Restaurant Association, and the National Retail Federation, among others.
Businesses with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees (“large employers”) must offer “affordable” health plans that provide “minimum value” coverage to all of their “full-time employees,” otherwise known as the “employer mandate.” Employers that are subject to the employer mandate must annually report various data points to both the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and their own employees. These requirements can be excessively complicated and burdensome.
The Commonsense Reporting Act of 2017 directs the Treasury Department to implement an alternative, prospective reporting system that is more workable and less burdensome for employers than current regulations.
The Commonsense Reporting Act establishes a voluntarily system that would allow employers to report pertinent information before open enrollment begins, to minimize the administrative burden at the back-end, and limit the collection of unneeded information.
It further streamlines the reporting process and provides clarification that the IRS can accept full names and dates of birth in lieu of dependents’ and spouses’ Social Security numbers; requires the Social Security Administration to assist in the data matching process; and allows for the electronic transmission of employee and enrollee statements.
In introducing the measure, Sen. Warner said this legislation couples important data collection with the flexibility and efficiency employers need to continue implementing the law.
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