Autumn Almanac continued

Affordable Care Act Health Insurance Reporting

Under the Affordable Care Act, all insureds were required to receive a new form in 2016 called the Form 1095-B, and all large employers were required to report that they offered health insurance coverage to their eligible employees. 

Complying with the new requirements included a number of projects:

  • Obtaining missing Social Security Numbers:  The GIC developed and mailed a series of three notices to members for whom we did not have a Social Security Number (usually for covered dependents) letting them know why we needed to obtain their Social Security Number and providing a form and return envelope for them to do so.  Over 8,200 members had one or more insureds with missing Social Security Numbers.  The series of mailings reduced this count to 3,100, and we were able to document the collection efforts in accordance with IRS requirements.
  • 1095-B Form Mailing:  This Internal Revenue Service document shows the recipient that they had health insurance coverage considered Minimum Essential Coverage during the 2015 tax year. As part of the Affordable Care Act, the IRS requires most people to obtain health coverage that meets this requirement for the given tax year. Called the “individual mandate,” people who do not have health coverage that meets the requirement may have to pay a federal tax penalty in the future for being “uninsured.” For the 2015 tax year, the form was for reporting only.  The GIC’s Information Technology department worked with the Comptroller and UMass to gather the required data for the new forms.  The group also collaborated on the development of a Frequently Asked Question document that accompanied the mailing.
  • Employer Shared Responsibility Reporting:   The GIC worked with the Comptroller and all of its covered offline agencies and municipalities to help them complete and transmit the employer form to the Internal Revenue Service.  This provision requires Applicable Large Employers (i.e. employers with 50 or more full-time employees who work 30 or more hours per week) to report the offer of health insurance coverage.

This information provided by the Group Insurance Commission .