The IRS has issued a final regulation permanently extending the time that employers have to furnish statements to certain individuals regarding health coverage that may be provided by the employer.
Briefly, Section 6055 of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) requires any employer that provides minimum essential coverage to furnish a statement with information about that coverage to responsible individuals no later than January 31 of the year following the year in which the coverage was provided. The statement is furnished using Form 1095-B.
In addition, Section 6056 of the IRC requires applicable large employers to furnish to all full-time employees, regardless of whether they are covered, and any non-employees or part-time employees who are actually covered, statements regarding the health insurance, if any, that the employer offers to its full-time employees. Those statements must also be furnished no later than January 31 of the year following the year in which the coverage was provided. The statement is furnished using Form 1095-C.
The new regulation, which is effective beginning January 1, 2022, provides for a permanent, automatic 30-day extension of these filing deadlines.
As usual, if these deadlines fall on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, the deadline is extended to the next business day.
The regulation also provides an alternative method to all non-ALE employers, and ALE employers with fully insured plans, for furnishing the Form 1095-B statement. An employer may furnish those statements by posting a clear and conspicuous notice on its website that is reasonably accessible to all responsible individuals, stating that responsible individuals may receive a copy of their statement upon request. The notice must include an email address, a physical address to which a request for a statement may be sent, and a telephone number that responsible individuals may use to contact the reporting entity with any questions. The notice must be written in plain, non-technical terms and with letters of a font size large enough, including any visual clues or graphical figures, to call to a viewer’s attention that the information pertains to tax statements reporting that individuals had health coverage. This method may also be used by ALEs with self-insured plans but only for statements provided to non-employees and part-time employees. When requested, notices must be provided within 30 days.
The notice must be posted by the deadline for furnishing the notices and remain in until the following October 15.
Note that IRC Sections 6055 and 6056 also require filing information with IRS. This final regulation does not extend the time for those filings.
The information and content contained in this blog post are for general informational purposes only, and does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. As always, for specific questions concerning your health and welfare plan, or for help in operating your plan during the current COVID-19 crisis, please consult your own ERISA attorney or professional advisor.