Before its summer recess last week, a bill was introduced to the Senate that would impact the employer healthcare coverage reporting which is scheduled to start this year. The bill, which is a companion to a similar House bill, has bipartisan support.
Patterned after other ACA actions, the legislation would delay mandatory reporting requirements and instead replace them with an interim voluntary program. Employers would only need to report coverage offering and status for those employees who the IRS advises the employer have received an advance premium tax credit. Further, protection would be added regarding social security number reporting security.
Congress should act quickly if they are going to at all, because as I write this, American employers are burning millions of hours, and millions of dollars, to prepare to comply with reporting protocols in place and due in early 2016. Payroll, benefit administration and ancillary systems are being developed and tested to be ready for this complex new protocol. And I have a churning feeling in my gut, that like much of the earlier ACA provisions, this too will be delayed at the 11th hour.
It’s no wonder that employers are getting frustrated by the Affordable Care Act and why they are waiting until the last possible moment to worry about compliance. As a benefits consultant, I feel like the boy who cried wolf as I caution about the Cadillac Tax, auto enrollment and non-discrimination testing, the three remaining major provisions.