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National Restaurant Association - NRA: Streamline health care reporting requirements

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NRA: Streamline health care reporting requirements

The National Restaurant Association today reiterated its support for a streamlined reporting process under the Affordable Care Act for large employers and employer-sponsored health plans, noting that simplification of the process would both reduce the administrative burden on employers and minimize the chances of employees being forced to repay tax credits for which eligibility was inaccurately determined.

The NRA is a leader of the Employers for Flexibility in Health Care Coalition (E-Flex), which submitted comments with the Internal Revenue Service yesterday on the agency’s proposed regulation on new reporting requirements for employers. The first reports would be required in early 2016, based on data tracked in 2015.

Under the proposed regulations, Section 6056 of the Internal Revenue Code requires employers with 50 or more full-time-equivalent employees to provide the IRS with a list of full-time employees, the health care coverage offered to each by calendar month, and the cost of self-only coverage. In addition, a separate Section 6055 of the Internal Revenue Code will require insurers, self-insuring employers and other parties that provide coverage to detail the months individuals were enrolled in minimum essential coverage, among other data. The IRS will use the data to verify that employers and individuals are complying with the health care law’s mandates.

In its comments, the E-Flex Coalition urged the Obama Administration “to offer options for streamlined reporting processes that are viable for employers with differing workforces.” The proposed rule did not offer streamlined alternatives for workforces with part-time, seasonal and temporary employees.

“The E-Flex Coalition believes a less expansive approach to information reporting can achieve the same ends with fewer burdens to the IRS and employers who voluntarily provide health coverage without giving rise to any adverse effects for individuals,” the coalition wrote in its comments. “Utilizing a certification method is a reasonable approach that could be used as the basis for a simplified reporting process that could benefit employers of all sizes and structures.” Collecting data about every full-time employee and their dependents covered under an employer’s health plan, the Coalition wrote, does not improve administration of the health care law’s tax credits and employer and individual  tax penalties.

Read the full comments from the E-Flex Coalition.

Simplification of large-employer reporting rules is among the NRA’s health care advocacy goals. For more on the NRA’s push for reasonable changes to the health care law, visit www.americaworkshere.org/healthcare.

Visit the NRA’s Health Care Knowledge Center and download the Health Care Law Toolkit, the restaurant industry’s premier resource for information on the Affordable Care Act.

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