Have you analyzed whether or not your retiree coverage may need minimum essential coverage reporting for 2015? While many parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) specifically excludes retiree only coverage, the new requirements to report minimum essential coverage under the Internal Revenue Code §6055 does not include such an exception.
As a reminder, the §6055 reporting applies to issuers (e.g. HMO) and employers and other entities that sponsor self-insured medical programs that qualify as minimum essential coverage. This reporting will important as it will be used by the IRS to verify the individual mandate, premium subsidy eligibility for exchange coverage, and the employer responsibility rules under Internal Revenue Code §4980H (also called the employer pay or play rules).
The minimum essential coverage reporting rules clearly state that retiree coverage is included in the reporting (as minimum essential coverage). However, the preamble to the final regulations, the actual regulations, and the recently released questions and answers on this topic say that say that minimum essential coverage that supplements a primary plan of the same plan sponsor OR that supplements government-sponsored coverage (like Medicare) will be “supplemental” coverage and not subject to this reporting.
This seems to imply that most retiree coverage is excluded (if it supplements Medicare) but early retiree coverage or HRA only plans (which may not supplement Medicare) may still need to be included in this reporting if the program qualifies as minimum essential coverage.
It will be important for entities that need to perform this reporting to determine which plans apply. If you need assistance with understanding these requirements or other ACA requirements, please contact Kinney & Larson.