IRS Requests Comments on Health Care Reform Provisions

April 26, 2012 ( – The Internal Revenue Service issued three notices inviting comments on certain provisions of health care law.

Notice 2012-31 describes and requests comments on several possible approaches to determining whether health coverage under an eligible employer-sponsored plan provides minimum value.  Beginning in 2014, eligible individuals who purchase coverage under a qualified health plan through an Affordable Insurance Exchange may receive a premium tax credit under § 36B only if they are not eligible for other minimum essential coverage, including coverage under an employer-sponsored plan that is affordable and provides minimum value.  A plan fails to provide minimum value if the plan covers less than 60% of the total allowed costs of benefits provided under the plan. If an employee receives a premium tax credit an applicable large employer may be liable for an assessable payment under § 4980H.   

Notice 2012-32 invites comments on the reporting requirements under § 6055 of the Internal Revenue Code for health insurance issuers, government agencies, employers that sponsor self-insured plans, and other persons that provide minimum essential coverage to an individual. Minimum essential coverage includes individual health insurance coverage, eligible employer-sponsored plans, and government-sponsored coverage such as Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE and veterans’ health care. Entities providing minimum essential coverage after January 1, 2014, must file annual returns reporting information for each individual covered.  

Notice 2012-33 invites comments on reporting under § 6056 by applicable large employers (as defined in § 4980H(c)(2)) that are subject to § 4980H. Section 6056 requires reporting of certain information on employer-provided health care coverage provided on or after January 1, 2014. Notice 2012-33 advises the public that the Treasury and IRS intend to propose regulations implementing § 6056 and invites comments on issues arising under § 6056, including on possible approaches for coordinating and minimizing duplication between the information required to be reported and furnished by employers under § 6056 and information required to be reported and/or furnished by employers or other persons under other applicable Code provisions.