American Benefits Council
Benefits Byte


July 24, 2014

The Benefits Byte is the American Benefits Council’s regular e-mail and online newsletter for members only, providing timely reports on legislative, regulatory and judicial developments, along with updates on the Council’s activities in support of employer-sponsored benefit plans.

The Benefits Byte is published by the American Benefits Council, based on staff reports and edited by Jason Hammersla, Council director of communications. Contact information for Council staff related to specific topics can be found at the end of each story.

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IRS Releases Forms for PPACA Information Reporting

On July 24, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released draft forms to be used by applicable large employers and insurers for reporting information regarding health care coverage and “minimum essential coverage” as required under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA):

As we reported in the March 5 Benefits Byte, final regulations were issued earlier in the year implementing the reporting of minimum essential coverage (MEC) under Section 6055 of the Internal Revenue Code) and the reporting of health insurance coverage under Section 6056 of the Internal Revenue Code. These reporting requirements were delayed for 2014 under previously issued Notice 2013-45 transition relief and will not be effective until 2015 (first reporting is due in early 2016). As stated in prior regulatory guidance, the IRS is encouraging voluntary reporting for coverage in 2014.

Code Section 6055 requires every health insurance issuer, sponsor of a self-insured health plan, government agency that administers government-sponsored health insurance programs and other entities that provide minimum essential coverage to file annual returns reporting certain information for each individual for whom minimum essential coverage is provided and to provide a copy of the return to the individual. Form 1095-B is to be used to comply with Code Section 6055. Form 1094-B is to be used to transmit these returns to the IRS.

Code Section 6056 requires every applicable large employer (generally, an employer that employed on average at least 50 full-time employees or equivalents) to file a return with the IRS that reports the terms and conditions of the health care coverage provided to the employer's full-time employees during the year. Form 1095-C is to be used to satisfy this requirement. Form 1094-C is to be used to transmit these returns.

Applicable large employers that sponsor self-insured plans are required to report the information required under both Section 6055 and Section 6056 on a single combined form using Form 1095-C.

The IRS is accepting comments on the draft forms. Comments may be submitted on the Comment on Tax Forms and Publications page on Although no comment deadline is identified, comments should be submitted as soon as possible as final forms are expected to be posted by the end of the year. Instructions were not released today, but it is anticipated that they will be issued in draft form sometime in August.

To provide input for possible Council comments on the draft forms, or for more information, contact Kathryn Wilber, senior counsel, health policy, at (202) 289-6700.

The American Benefits Council is the national trade association for companies concerned about federal legislation and regulations affecting all aspects of the employee benefits system. The Council's members represent the entire spectrum of the private employee benefits community and either sponsor directly or administer retirement and health plans covering more than 100 million Americans.

Notice: the information contained herein is general in nature. It is not, and should not be construed as, accounting, consulting, legal or tax advice or opinion provided by the American Benefits Council or any of its employees. As required by the IRS, we inform you that any information contained herein was not intended or written to be used or referred to, and cannot be used or referred to (i) for the purpose of avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code, or (ii) in promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein (and any attachment).