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February HR News Worth Review

Upcoming ACA Reporting Deadlines

Affordable Care Act (ACA) reporting for the 2020 calendar year is due in early 2021. Specifically, reporting entities must:

  • File returns with the IRS by March 1, 2021, since Feb. 28, 2021, is a Sunday (or March 31, 2021, if filing electronically); and
  • Furnish statements to individuals by March 2, 2021.

Originally, individual statements were due by Jan. 31, 2021, However, on Oct. 2, 2020, the IRS issued Notice 2020-76 to extend the furnishing deadline. However, Notice 2020-76 doesn’t extend the due date for filing forms with the IRS for 2020. Notice 2020-76 also provides additional penalty relief related to furnishing 2020 forms to individuals under Section 6055 for smaller, self-funded employers. Specifically, the IRS will not assess a penalty against reporting entities for failing to furnish a Form 1095-B to responsible individuals in cases where the following two conditions are met:

  1. The reporting entity prominently posts a notice on its website stating that individuals may receive a copy of their 2020 Form 1095-B upon request, accompanied by an email address and a physical address to which a request may be sent, as well as a telephone number that responsible individuals can use to contact the reporting entity with any questions; and
  2. The reporting entity furnishes a 2020 Form 1095-B to any individual upon request within 30 days of the date the request is received.

Employer Takeaway
Despite the delay, the IRS is encouraging reporting entities to furnish statements as soon as they are able. No request or other documentation is required to take advantage of the extended deadline.

Medicare Part D Disclosures Due by March 1, 2021 for Calendar Year Plans

Group health plan sponsors are required to complete an online disclosure form with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on an annual basis and at other select times that indicate whether the plan’s prescription drug coverage is creditable or non-creditable. This disclosure requirement applies when an employer-sponsored group health plan provides prescription drug coverage to individuals who are eligible for coverage under Medicare Part D, including spouses enrolled in the plan. The plan sponsor must complete the online disclosure within 60 days after the beginning of the plan year. For calendar year health plans, the deadline for the annual online disclosure is March 1, 2021.

Employer Takeaway
To determine if the CMS reporting requirement applies, employers should verify whether their group health plans cover any Medicare-eligible individuals (including active employees, disabled employees, COBRA participants, retirees and their covered spouses and dependents) at the start of each plan year.

Employers that are required to report to CMS should work with their advisors to determine whether their prescription drug coverage is creditable or non-creditable. They should also visit the CMS creditable coverage website, which includes links to the online disclosure form and related instructions.

OSHA Issues Mitigation and Prevention Guidance for COVID-19

On Jan. 29, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued guidance on mitigating and preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. The guidance applies to employers and employees in settings outside of the health care industry, meant to help them determine appropriate COVID-19 control measures for the workplace.

Employers can use this OSHA guidance to plan and evaluate their COVID-19 prevention and mitigation procedures. With this guidance, OSHA strongly recommends that employers implement COVID-19 prevention programs. According to OSHA, the most effective programs engage employees and their union or representatives in the development and planning stages.

Employer Takeaway
The guidance contains recommendations, but also includes the mandatory safety and health standards that have already been established. The recommendations are advisory in nature, informational in content and are intended to assist employers in providing a safe and healthy workplace. In addition to this guidance, please see our updated flowchart on recording COVID cases on your OSHA 300 logs here.

OSHA Issues Mitigation and Prevention Guidance for COVID-19

As a reminder, last summer the IRS issued specific guidance on how employers are supposed to report wages paid for emergency paid sick leave and emergency paid Family and Medical Leave Act time off under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Pay for either type of FFCRA wages should be reported separately from regular wages, on Box 14 of the W-2 or on a separate statement provided concurrently with the regular W-2, according to this guidance.

Employer Takeaway
If W-2s have been sent out without FFCRA wages reflected on them accurately, employers should act quickly to correct the data in their system and issue amended W-2s.

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