Despite efforts in Congress to repeal and/or replace the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare or ACA), it appears, at least for now, that the ACA is here to stay. That means that employers must remain in compliance with the coverage and reporting provisions.

Under the ACA, individuals are required to have health insurance and applicable large employers (ALEs) are required to offer health benefits to their full-time employees. Reporting is required by employers with 50 or more full-time (or full-time equivalent) employees, insurers, or sponsors of self-funded health plans on health coverage offered. Reporting is required to ensure that individuals have the required minimum coverage, individuals who request premium tax credits are entitled to them, and ALEs are meeting their shared responsibility obligations.

Recently, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued draft forms and instructions to assist employers in understanding their obligations for 2017.

The draft forms and instructions are for informational purposes only. Do not file using the draft forms. Copies of the draft Form 1094-B, Form 1094-C, Form 1095-B, and Form 1095-C can be obtained from the IRS. The draft instructions for Forms 1094-B and 1095-B and Forms 1094-C and 1095-C are also available.

The following are changes from the 2016 instructions:

Instructions for Forms 1094-B and 1095-B

No substantive changes.

Instructions for Forms 1094-C and 1095-C

  • References to transition relief available to non-calendar-year plans have been deleted. This relief is no longer available.
  • Information regarding a safe harbor for de minimis errors filed on Form 1095-C with incorrect dollar amounts on line 15 is included. If the safe harbor applies, employers will not have to correct Form 1095-C to avoid penalties, unless the recipient elects that the safe harbor not apply.
  • An adjustment to the threshold for determining affordability, increasing from 9.5% to 9.69% for plans beginning in 2017.
  • Clarification that there is no specific code for line 16 to indicate that a full-time employee did not enroll in coverage or waived coverage.
  • Confirmation of the extension of the existing interim relief for multi-employer plans.
  • Updates to deadlines for furnishing statements to individuals and to file with the IRS.

The following are changes from the 2016 forms:

Form 1094-B

No changes.

Form 1094-C

Section 4980H Transition Relief has been removed from line 22. This relief is not applicable in 2017.

Forms 1095-B and 1095-C

A new paragraph titled “Additional Instructions” was added, which directs individuals to an IRS webpage providing information on the individual and employer shared responsibilities provisions and premium credits.

The official instructions and forms for 2017 will be released later this year.

Remember, ALEs must file Forms 1094-C and 1095-C with the IRS no later than February 28, 2018 (or April 2, 2018 if filing electronically). ALEs, must also furnish a Form 1095-C to all full-time employees by January 31, 2018. Self-insuring employers that are not considered ALEs and other parties that provide minimum essential coverage must file Forms 1094-B and 1095-B with the IRS no later than February 28, 2018 (or April 2, 2018 if filing electronically). ALEs must also furnish a Form 1095-B to “responsible individuals” by January 31, 2018.

We know these areas of the law can be confusing. That is why we are here. As an employer, please consider the Nevada Association of Employers your one-stop resource for all those problems facing employers in Nevada. Our goal is to make sure your business is abiding to federal and state law. For more information, contact the Nevada Association of Employers at (775) 329-4241 or visit our contact page today.