Drafters at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have tried to shorten and simplify some of the new health insurance mandate tax forms.

The IRS has posted a new draft of Form 1094-C, the form employers are supposed to use to tell the government what, if any, health coverage they offer; Form 1095-B, the form issuers of minimum essential coverage (MEC) are supposed to use to tell insureds if they have MEC; and Form 1095-C, the form workers are supposed to use to document what, if any, health benefits they get from their employers.

Commenters, and even some members of Congress, panned earlier, longer versions of the forms and form instructions.

In August, for example, the IRS released a combine version of Forms 1094-B and 1095-B, and the instructions for both forms.

The instructions for Form 1094-B were aimed at MEC providers and included complicated lists and explanations, such as a list of government-sponsored programs that count as MEC. Drafters noted, for example, in one of seven major parts in a section on government-sponsored programs that do or do not count as MEC, that Medicaid counts as MEC — except that optional Medicaid coverage of family planning services, optional coverage of tuberculosis-related services, optional coverage of pregnancy-related services and coverage of medical emergency services do not count as MEC.

In the old instructions for Form 1095-B, drafters included five sections on how taxpayers should enter their names, Social Security numbers and other identifying information (photo of Form B, below).

1095b draft

In the revision, the drafters have separated the Form 1094-B instructions from the Form 1095-B instructions, and they have boiled the guidelines for entering identifying information down into one paragraph.

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