The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has come out with a flurry of regulatory documents laying the groundwork for implementing the coverage reporting requirements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA).
PPACA opponents are fighting the law in the courts and in Congress.
If the law takes effect on schedule and works as drafters expect, it will give individuals and small employers the ability to buy health coverage through a new system of health insurance exchanges, or Web-based insurance supermarkets; require many employers to provide a minimum level of coverage or else pay penalties; and require many individuals to own a minimum level of coverage.
The IRS is on track to be in charge of managing or helping with administration of many of the PPACA health coverage provisions, such as efforts to provide health insurance purchase subsidies.
Individuals with incomes under 133% of the poverty level are supposed to get health coverage for free starting in 2014.
Individuals with incomes ranging from 133% to 400% of the federal poverty level are supposed to get subsidies in the form of “refundable tax credits,” or credits that will be paid during the year before the individual files a tax return for that year.
IRS has issued one document, a tax return information disclosure rulemaking notice, in connection with efforts to write the regulations it needs to give tax informations to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the HHS contractors responsible for determining whether individuals are eligible for health insurance subsidies are other relief.
Under the proposed regulations, the IRS would, for example, be able to give program managers a taxpayer’s filing status, the taxpayer’s family size and the taxpayer’s “modified adjusted gross income,” or the adjusted gross income, if the modified adjusted gross income is not available.
Comments are due July 30.
Another document, IRS Notice 2012-33, asks for comments on the approach the IRS should take to the reporting requirements that would apply to the “large employers” that would have to provide a minimum level of coverage.