While most of the design changes required for group health plans under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended (“PPACA”), became effective in 2010 or 2011, some additional requirements must be implemented for 2012.
All group health plans subject to PPACA must comply with the following requirements, regardless of its status as a “grandfathered health plan”:
- Provision of a Summary of Benefits. The summary must include the information specified in the regulations but cannot exceed four double-sided pages. A summary must be provided to participants and beneficiaries as part of any written enrollment materials and a summary must be included for each benefit package offered for which the participant or beneficiary is eligible. However, upon renewal, only the summary for the benefit package in which the participant is enrolled needs to be furnished, unless the participant or beneficiary requests a summary for another benefit package. Unless an extension is granted, summaries must be issued no later than March 23, 2012. Instructions and a template of a draft summary of benefits is published in the Federal Register and can be viewed at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-08-22/pdf/2011-21192.pdf.
- W-2 Reporting Obligation. Employers must begin reporting the aggregate cost of applicable employer-sponsored coverage on an employee’s Form W-2 beginning with the Form W-2 issued in January 2013 for the 2012 tax year. Make sure that you have appropriate systems in place to collect and determine the value that must be reported. IRS Notice 2011-28, available at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-11-28.pdf, provides interim guidance