The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has decided to let itself phase in implementation of the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) coverage reporting requirement.
CMS will let its Center for Medicare division wait until the 2016 coverage year to send out 1095-B coverage reporting notices to all Medicare enrollees.
PPACA requires health insurers and other coverage providers to use the 1095-B forms to show enrollees whether they had minimum essential coverage (MEC), and in what months. Consumers are supposed to use the forms when they file their income tax returns, to show whether or not they’re subject to the penalty that PPACA now imposes on many taxpayers who fail to meet PPACA coverage requirements.
See also: Meet the 2015 PPACA tax forms
Coverage providers that file their first batch of 1095-B forms, for 2015, electronically are supposed to send the forms out to employees by Jan. 31, 2016, and to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by March 31. Coverage providers that file the 2015 forms on paper are supposed to mail them by Feb. 29, 2016, according to the IRS.
A coverage provider can get an automatic 30-day extension of the filing time, without providing a signature or explanation, by filing Form 8809 on or before the 1095-B due date, IRS officials say. Coverage providers can also ask for an additional 30-day hardship exemption.
For the 2015 coverage year, the Medicare program will send out 1095-B coverage notices only to enrollees who seem likely to have more trouble than other enrollees with showing that they have MEC, CMS officials say.
The Center for Medicare will send 1095-Bs to enrollees under age 65, enrollees who signed up for Medicare Part A coverage for the first time in 2015, and enrollees who had Medicare Part A coverage during just part of 2015, officials say.