In the past two weeks, health plan sponsors have received welcomed relief from two upcoming Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) deadlines. First, the “Cadillac” tax that was scheduled to take effect in 2018 has been delayed until 2020. Second, the Internal Revenue Service has extended certain deadlines for providing ACA reports that are due beginning in early 2016.
Cadillac Tax Delayed
As part of its $1.8 trillion omnibus spending deal, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016, Congress has delayed until 2020 the “Cadillac” tax that was scheduled to take effect in 2018. The ACA imposes a 40% excise tax on certain employer-sponsored group health coverage which exceeds certain limits (referred to as “Cadillac” plans). Cadillac plans generally have premiums exceeding an annual cost of $10,200 for an individual plan or $27,500 for a family plan. Also, under the new spending law, employers generally will now be able to deduct the amount of any “Cadillac” tax paid on their federal income tax returns (under the prior law, the “Cadillac” tax was a non-deductible expense for employers).
Employers that sponsor high cost health insurance plans now have additional time to determine which actions they may wish to take to address the “Cadillac” tax, such as reducing plan benefits to avoid being subject to the excise tax in the future. In light of the upcoming presidential election, some employers have chosen a “wait and see” approach, as it is possible that the “Cadillac” tax could be further delayed or repealed down the road.
ACA Reporting Delayed
The IRS has extended the deadline for certain ACA reports that must be provided to individuals and filed with the IRS. This is welcome relief for many employers who are having difficulty complying with the new ACA reporting requirements.
Specifically, in IRS Notice 2016–4, the IRS extended the deadline by two months for employers to provide group health plan participants information on offers of health coverage and coverage provided for 2015. The information reports, which were previously due by February 1, 2016, are now due by March 31, 2016. Information to participants must be provided to participants on IRS Forms 1095-B and 1095-C.
In addition, the IRS extended the deadline by three months for employers to report certain ACA information for 2015 to the IRS. The IRS reports, which were previously due by February 29, 2016 for non-electronic filings and March 31, 2016 for electronic filings, are now due May 31, 2016 for non-electronic filings and June 30, 2016 for electronic filings. Reports to the IRS are filed on IRS Forms 1094-B, 1095-B, 1094-C and 1095-C.