Trade group that fought for reporting delay is pleased with transition relief

The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) is pleased that the U.S. Treasury Department is providing employers and employees with a 60-day delay for the 2015 information reporting requirements. ERIC, a national trade association advocating for the employee benefit and compensation interests of the country’s largest employers, called for the delay in a December 17, 2015, letter to the Treasury Department.
“I am thrilled that companies will receive this desperately needed relief from the very complicated and onerous filing and furnishing requirements,” said Gretchen Young, Senior Vice President of Health Policy, ERIC. “It is great that the government was so responsive to our urgent and continuing requests for a delay.”

Complicated process. The forms and instructions used to report health plan coverage information to employees and to the government – in accordance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) rules under sections 6055 and 6056 of the Internal Revenue Code – are extremely complicated and burdensome, according to ERIC. The process required to simply collect the information necessary to complete the forms is arduous and one that employers have never before attempted.

In addition to the challenges of creating the infrastructure necessary to track and report the required information for potentially millions of individuals, companies have faced further obstacles, including difficulty in identifying vendors who could assist them with the reporting. Many companies also found that the “simplification” methods created by the final regulations were not available to them, and the forms and instructions were not finalized until late in the year. Further, many basic questions concerning completion of the form have yet to be clarified.

“While ERIC and its members are pleased with [this] announcement, we continue to be concerned about the horrendous burdens placed on health plans by the ACA. The countless new rules and regulations imposed by the ACA created huge financial and administrative complexities for employers, diverting focus and funds away from health plans” said Young. “We will continue to try to eliminate or minimize these burdens wherever possible next year and in the years ahead.”

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