Urge Lawmakers to Act on Legislation to Ease ACA Reporting Requirements

 

Chatrane Birbal By Chatrane Birbal May 11, 2018
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Following last year's failed efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), comprehensive health care reform legislation will not be considered this year. In addition, heading into the midterm election season, lawmakers are expected to stay away from controversial legislative issues such as health care. However, it is possible that lawmakers will consider technical changes to the ACA that have bipartisan, bicameral support in Congress. 

Last year, Representatives Diane Black (R-TN) and Mike Thompson (D-CA), along with Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Mark Warner (D-VA), introduced the Commonsense Reporting Act (H.R. 3919 and S. 1908, respectively). This SHRM-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 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. 

While the Commonsense Reporting Act is gaining traction in Congress, it is critical that HR constituents reinforce the message to lawmakers about the need to simplify ACA reporting requirements. More specifically, it is important that lawmakers hear from HR professionals in their states and congressional districts about how the reporting requirements have impacted business operations and created administrative burdens on employers. By sharing your experiences, the likelihood that Congress will act on these bills should increase. 

To facilitate e-mail communication with your lawmakers so that you can encourage them to co-sponsor H.R. 3919 and S. 1908, SHRM's Government Affairs team has prepared a template letter that is available through SHRM's HR Policy Action Center. Through this portal, you can edit and personalize your message and send it directly to your lawmakers' Washington, D.C., offices. 

Send your letter now in support of the Commonsense Reporting Act now. 

As Congress looks to make technical corrections to the ACA, SHRM will continue to advocate in support of the employer-sponsored system. Stay tuned to future editions of HR Issues Update for timely and relevant updates on this important issue for HR practitioners.

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