House subcommitte to hold hearing on ACA employer mandate
House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) announced the Subcommittee on Health the hearing on the implications of the recently released final regulations implementing the employer mandate and employer information reporting requirement provisions of the Affordable Care Act.
The Subcommittee will hear directly from the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) about how the Administration reached decisions to further delay the employer mandate, as well as explain the complicated reporting requirements. The Subcommittee will hear testimony from J. Mark Iwry, Senior Advisor to the Secretary and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Retirement and Health Policy.
The hearing will take place on Tuesday, April 8, 2014, in B-318 Rayburn House Office Building, beginning at 2:00 P.M.
In announcing the hearing, Chairman Brady stated, "It is very clear now that the President's health care law, as it was written and even with the President's extensive modifications, is not working. The Administration continues to delay mandates for big business, but ignores the concerns of the hardworking Americans struggling to comply with the law's mandates and taxes. The delay for business has, however, only served to create additional complexity and concerns for business. The information reporting requirements are stunning in their breath and complexity. Employers do not understand these rules, and have serious concerns with how the Treasury Department will collect and use the data necessary to implement these onerous provisions."
In July 2013, the Obama Administration announced a delay of the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) employer reporting requirements and the enforcement of the employer mandate for 2014. The Treasury Department cited concerns about the complexity of the requirements and the need for more time to implement the provisions of the law set to impact employers in 2014.
On February 12, 2014, the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published the final regulations implementing Section 4980H of the Internal Revenue Code (Code) as added by the ACA. On March 10, 2014, Treasury published final regulations implementing Code section 6055 and 6056, as added by the ACA.
Code Section 4980H imposes a requirement that employers with more than 50 full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) offer health coverage to their workers or pay one of two tax penalties. The statute specifies that the mandate "shall apply to months beginning after December 31, 2013."
Code Section 6055 requires employers and insurers "who provide minimum essential coverage to an individual during a calendar year shall, at such time as the Secretary may prescribe, make a return in such form as the Secretary may prescribe" that contains "the name, address and taxpayer identification number (TIN) of the primary insured and the name and TIN of each other individual obtaining coverage under the policy."
Code Section 6056 requires applicable large employers to provide, "at such time as the Secretary may prescribe" information related to the offer of coverage provided and the name and TIN for each employee offered minimum essential coverage.
These three major regulations implement the bulk of the new mandates on employers required by the ACA. The statutory provisions themselves, as well as the regulatory process of implementing the requirements, have created significant controversy and concern. These final regulations contain further targeted delays and have been criticized by employers and employer groups for adding complexity and not addressing specific concerns raised by employers throughout the regulatory process that has extended over four years.