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Lend your Voice to a Critical Workplace Issue

February 10, 2020 4:36 PM | Anonymous

Your OKHR Chapter is joining SHRM and other State SHRM Chapters throughout the nation in support of legislation intended to reduce the reporting burden impacting HR professionals and businesses under the Affordable Care Act employer mandate!

The Legislation is referred to as the Commonsense Reporting Act (H.R. 4070 and S. 2366). This SHRM-OKHR supported legislation proposes to:

  • Create a voluntary employer prospective reporting system to make data available during the exchange enrollment process, rather than at the end of a tax year.
  • Streamline the reporting process for employers that use the voluntary prospective reporting system by requiring 6056 statements only for employees who have purchased coverage through an exchange, rather than for an entire workforce.
  • Provide clarification that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) can accept full names and dates of birth in lieu of dependents' and spouses' Social Security numbers and requiring that the Social Security Administration assist in the data-matching process.
  • Allow for electronic transmission of employee and enrollee statements, rather than requiring this information be provided only by paper statement sent through the mail.

The letter was prompted by concerns that the ACA employer mandate exposes employers that are complying with the ACA employer mandate to misguided tax penalties and compliance costs. The letter in support of the legislation states that Employer-sponsored plans are the largest providers of health insurance (66 percent of the workforce) to individuals in the United States and shares concerns regarding the reporting burden relating to the administration and implementation of workplace health care benefits.

 

Specifically, under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) reporting requirements, employers are required to gather data on a monthly basis and report them annually to the Internal Revenue Service and their employees. This information is intended to verify compliance with the ACA’s employer mandate. According to a SHRM health care survey, 62 percent of HR professionals said reporting requirements were their biggest ACA challenge. Under the law, employers that are unable to file or furnish the IRS forms run the risk of incurring significant financial penalties. Employers diligently work to ensure compliance with the law, but too often find that reporting is administratively and financially burdensome. 

 

The Commonsense Reporting Act will provide much needed relief to both employers and employees by modernizing and streamlining the reporting requirements. The letter in support of the legislation urges lawmakers to act on H.R.4070 and S.2366 this year.  Under the Commonsense Reporting Act, employers would be provided with a second, voluntary option to report the most relevant information about the type of coverage offered to full-time employees, dependents and spouses to the IRS prior to Exchange open enrollment. Providing this voluntary, prospective reporting option will enable businesses to provide real-time employer coverage data to help consumers navigate their appropriate coverage needs. Prospective reporting will also reduce misguided tax penalty letters to employers which will provide relief and eliminate compliance costs to businesses.

 

The support letter closes by emphasizing the fact that HR professionals who impact the lives of more than 115 million employees!

If you or any of your colleagues have anecdotal stories of how complying with the ACA reporting requirements have led to fines on employers and employees, please consider sharing them. Even if you or your colleagues want to remain anonymous, the compelling stories can help SHRM Government Affairs representatives in their meetings with lawmakers, especially when they are trying to encourage them to take action sooner rather than later.  If you have a story to tell regarding the impact ACA reporting or implementation requirements have had on you or your employer, please feel free to share that information with OKHR’s Legislative Vice-President Stefan Mecke at the phone number or email address provided below and he will route that feedback to the SHRM team handling this effort!  If you have questions regarding this initiative, please feel free to contact OKHR Stefan directly!

Stefan Mecke – OKHR, Vice-President of Legislation

 

Stefan Mecke, JD, MBA, CFCM, SHRM-SCP, SPHR

Attorney|BARBER & BARTZ
525 South Main Street, Suite 800 | Tulsa, Oklahoma  74103
Phone: 918.599.7755 | Fax: 918.599.7756 |
smecke@barberbartz.com


          

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