Watching teams battle it to the final four?! Well this year there may be a new twist on March Madness.

This is the first year that businesses with 50 or more full time employees/equivalents are required to distribute forms 1094-C and 1095-C (Parts 1&2) to communicate how medical coverage was provided to the employee and for what period of time during 2015.

These forms are required under the ACA- Affordable Care Act and are creating confusion among both employers and employees.

Some employers are asking “Do I really have to do this and by when?” YES and the deadline for distribution to the employee is March 31st and to the IRS by May 31 if filing paper or June 30 if filing electronic information. If an employer has a fully insured medical plan, the forms will be generated by the insurance carrier. If an employer has a self-insured medical plan they are responsible for completing and disseminating this information. Where do you get the forms? Google 1094-C and 1095-C and blank forms are easily accessible. Information should also be easily gathered through the company payroll system or QuickBooks recordkeeping.

Employees are equally confused asking “Do I really have to report my medical coverage and by when?” YES and this information should be included when taxes are filed by April 15th. Individuals are required to communicate whether they had insurance for the full calendar year in 2015 or face IRS fines.

Some taxpayers may not receive the appropriate forms by the time they are ready to file their 2015 tax return. Never fear, the 1094-C or 1095-C are not required to be attached to tax filings. Employees can gather this information in other ways, i.e. payroll stubs that list medical contributions, etc. Remember the question is whether the employee had medical insurance and for what specific months during the 2015 calendar year. Employees should utilize the company HR resource to answer questions regarding these forms.

A recent survey indicated 83% of employees in midsized firms (50-99) are confused about these forms.
HOW TO AVOID FREAK OUT? TAKE A TIME OUT – draft a memo explaining to your employees the What, Why and Disposition of these new forms and the information included. Keep is simple!