Employer Reporting of Health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) will not be required in most instances.
On September 17, 2015, the IRS released the FINAL 2015 instructions for Forms 1094-B, 1095-B, 1094-C and 1095-C. On the same day, the IRS also released Notice 2015-68 providing additional guidance on the reporting requirements.
The final instructions and the notice can be found at the following links:
2015 FINAL Instructions 1094-B and 1095-B:
2015 FINAL Instructions 1094-C and 1095-C:
IRS Notice 2015-68:
Most Employers Will Not Have to Report on HRA Coverage
The final instructions provide some much welcome relief from the last draft of instructions which alluded to a requirement in which fully insured employers would have to provide information on a health reimbursement arrangement (“HRA”). The final instructions and notice clearly state that, in most instances, a separate reporting on an HRA will not be necessary.
According to the final instructions, if an individual is covered by a self-insured medical plan and a health reimbursement arrangement (“HRA”) provided by the same employer, then the employer is considered the provider of both types of coverage and is therefore only required to report under one of the arrangements. Similarly, if the employer offers a fully insured medical plan and HRA coverage for which an individual is eligible because the individual enrolls in the insured plan, the employer is not required to report the coverage under the HRA for an individual covered by both arrangements.
While this is welcome news for the vast majority of fully insured plans, integrated with an HRA, it is important to note that the instructions do dictate HRA reporting in some limited instances. Specifically, if an individual is covered by an HRA sponsored by one employer and a non-HRA group health plan by another employer (such as spousal coverage), then each employer must report the coverage the employer provides.
Employer Requirements for Requesting Social Security Numbers Simplified
In addition to the welcome news about HRA reporting, the new notice and instructions also provided some unexpected and welcome news regarding an employer’s responsibility in obtaining Social Security Numbers for not only its employees, but for all individuals enrolled in the plan. The new directives simplify the process for the employers.
According to the final instructions, an employer must still make a “reasonable effort” to obtain these Social Security Numbers. However, the new steps, that an employer must follow to demonstrate that “reasonable effort,” have been simplified.
The new steps are set forth below:
1. The initial request is made at the time the individual first enrolls or, if the person is already enrolled on September 17, 2015, the next open enrollment period.
2. The second request is made at “a reasonable time thereafter” and
3. The third request is made by December 31 of the year following the initial request.
At this point, groups should continue to be on the look out for any additional guidance. They should also continue in their preparation of the reporting, which will occur in early 2016. Benecon will continue to monitor this issue and provide updates if additional guidance is released by the IRS.