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IRS Delays Employers’ Deadline to Distribute ACA Reporting Form 1095 to Employees

In a move that caught many in the benefits community by surprise, the IRS issued Notice 2016-70 on Nov. 18, giving employers subject to the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) 2016 information-reporting requirements up to an additional 30 days to deliver these forms to employees.

The notice affects upcoming deadlines for ACA information reporting as follows:

  • The IRS extended the deadline to deliver ACA reporting forms to employees from Jan. 31, 2017 to March 2. The extended deadline applies to furnishing to individuals the 2016 Form 1095-C (Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage) and Form 1095-B (Health Coverage).

    The Treasury Department and the IRS determined that a substantial number of employers and other insurance providers needed additional time “to gather and analyze the information [necessary to] prepare the 2016 Forms 1095-C and 1095-B to be furnished to individuals,” Notice 2016-70 states.

  • This extension applies for tax year 2016 only, and does not require the submission of any request or other documentation to the IRS.
  • The IRS did not change the deadline for filing Forms 1094 and 1095 with the agency. This means there is likely to be no automatic extension to file the 2016 Form 1094-B (Transmittal of Health Coverage Information Returns) along with copies of Form 1095-B, and Form 1094-C (Transmittal of Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage Information Returns) along with copies of Form 1095-C.

    Employers filing these forms by mail will still need to do so by Feb. 28, 2017. Employers filing electronically (as those submitting 250 or more forms are required to do) must do so by March 31. While the date for filing with the IRS was not extended, employers can obtain a 30-day extension by submitting Form 8809 (Application for Extension of Time to File Information Returns) by the due date for the ACA information returns.

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Concerned About Losing Your Marketplace Plan? ACA Repeal May Take Awhile

President-elect Donald Trump has promised that he’ll ask Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act on Day One of his administration. If you’re shopping for coverage on the health insurance marketplace, should you even bother signing up? If everything’s going to change shortly after your new coverage starts in January anyway, what’s the point?

While it’s impossible to know exactly what changes are coming to the individual market and how soon they’ll arrive, one thing is virtually certain: Nothing will happen immediately. Here are answers to questions you may have.

Q. How soon after Trump takes office could my marketplace coverage change?

It’s unlikely that much, if anything, will change in 2017.

“It’s a complex process to alter a law as complicated as the ACA,” said Sara Rosenbaum, a professor of health law and policy at George Washington University. It seems unlikely that congressional Republicans could force through a repeal of the law since Democrats have enough votes to sustain a filibuster blocking that move. So Congress might opt to use a budget procedure, called “reconciliation,” that allows revenue-related changes, such as eliminating the premium tax credits,  with simple majority votes. Yet even that process could take months.

And it wouldn’t address the other parts of the health law that reformed the insurance market, such as the prohibition on denying people coverage if they’re sick. How some of those provisions of the law will be affected is still quite unclear.

“It will likely be January 2019 before any new program would be completely in place,” said Robert Laszewski, a health care industry consultant and long-time critic of the law.

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Obama warns GOP on healthcare: ‘Now comes the hard part’

President Obama said he thinks Republicans’ efforts to repeal and replace ObamaCare will get harder now that they have the responsibility of governing.

 At a press conference Monday, Obama noted that while repealing his signature law has long been a “holy grail” for Republicans, the GOP will have to contend with the real-world consequences such action would have for the 20 million people who gained health coverage under the law.

In addition to winning the White House, the GOP also maintained its House and Senate majorities.

“It’s one thing to characterize this thing as not working when it’s just an abstraction, now suddenly you’re in charge and you’re gonna repeal it,” Obama said. “OK, well what happens to those 20 million people who have health insurance? Are you going to just kick them off and suddenly they don’t have health insurance?”

He pointed to other benefits of the law, such as slowing the growth of healthcare costs.

Obama acknowledged that the law could be repealed and replaced with something else. But what that replacement would be, he said, is key.

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What will Trump do about Obamacare?

The prognosis for the Affordable Care Act is looking dire.

President-elect Donald Trump promised to “immediately repeal and replace Obamacare” while he was campaigning, a promise that will at the very least put President Obama’s signature health care legislation in the ER. The law remains divisive in the country, with opinions equally split between 45 percent with favorable views of it and 45 percent who see it negatively, according to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

Health-services stocks took a dive on Wednesday morning, reflecting expectations from investors that a Trump presidency will deliver major changes to the law. Because the ACA has boosted demand for treatment, thanks to the additional 20 million Americans who gained health insurance as a result, its repeal could lead to sharply lower demand for health care and pharmaceutical services.

Yet it’s not clear that Trump will be able to completely erase the law because the Republican-dominated Senate will lack the 60 votes needed for a full repeal.

Obamacare “has clearly been a touch point for Republican campaigns across the country,” said Michael Moran, principal for global risk analysis at Control Risks, on a conference call to discuss the election results. “Repealing it is a very difficult proposition. Trump has been careful about talking about replacing it with something. It’s like, what is that something?”

He added: “The Democrats will dig their heels in.”

Still, it’s clear that Trump is going to challenge the law. Here are five questions about the future of Obamacare under the new president.

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What Will TrumpCare Look Like?

President-elect Donald Trump made repealing Obamacare the cornerstone of his campaign. Now that he has won, his future administration is faced with the daunting task of unraveling nearly seven years of Obamacare.  It will not be easy. The most pressing goal should be to replace all the costly provisions in Obamacare with the consumer-friendly health plans most Americans prefer. In the process, reformers must change the way medical care is financed so that consumers have control over their health care dollars as well as the means to pay for medical care over their lifetimes.

Congress can repeal some Obamacare provisions — but not all — using budget reconciliation, which requires only a simple majority. The individual and employer mandates and all the Obamacare taxes could be repealed this way. This wouldn’t help with the regulations that prevent insurers and employers from designing affordable health plans, however. Repealing the insurance mandates, including the “essential benefits” package, would require a filibuster-proof majority. As a starting point, the president should command his incoming HHS Secretary to drop the appeal of House vs. Burwell. The Obama administration already lost the court case, which found Obamacare’s cost-sharing reduction payments to be illegal since they had not been unappropriated by Congress. Without being reimbursed for the cost-sharing reduction payments, insurers would likely drop out of the market, since they are required to provide the subsidies whether or not they get reimbursed for them. The administration should also prevent any Court Settlement Funds from being used for insurance bailouts. powerful weapon Trump will possess is the power to order his HHS Secretary to stop enforcing Obamacare’s provisions. Taken together, these may apply enough pressure to encourage moderate Democrats to side with Republicans to amend Obamacare’s insurance regulations to better suit consumers’ needs.

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