U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Rob Portman (R-OH) today introduced the bipartisan Commonsense Reporting Act of 2017 to streamline and modernize employer reporting requirements under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). This legislation would strike a balance between ensuring the Treasury Department has the necessary data to determine availability of affordable coverage, while cutting down on unnecessary paperwork and administrative costs for businesses.

The ACA requires employers and insurers to report information about health insurance coverage to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) at the end of the tax year. The legislation directs the Treasury Department to implement an alternative, prospective reporting system that is more workable and less burdensome for employers than current regulations.

“This legislation couples important data collection with the flexibility and efficiency employers need to continue implementing the law,” said Sen. Warner. “It’s time to find common ground with serious legislative efforts that provide more affordable, accessible, and quality health care to all Americans, regardless of where they purchase their coverage. Americans deserve better – hopefully this is the first step of many bipartisan solutions.” 

“I have heard from hundreds of employers in Ohio that have spent hundreds of administrative hours attempting to comply with the reporting requirements in the Affordable Care Act. This added time and resources has not improved the quality of health insurance employers offered but only further discouraged employers from offering health insurance and hiring more workers. This bipartisan bill will help streamline the reporting process by allowing employers to report information to the IRS prospectively, easing the burden for employers and employees,” said Sen. Portman.

The Commonsense Reporting Act streamlines this process by establishing a voluntarily system which would allow employers to report pertinent information before open enrollment begins, to minimize the administrative burden at the back-end, and limit the collection of unneeded information.

The Commonsense Reporting Act has been endorsed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, America’s Health Insurance Plans, Retail Industry Leaders Association, American Hotel and Lodging Association, American Rental Association, American Staffing Association, National Association of Convenience Stores, National Association of Health Underwriters, National Association of Home Builders, National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors, National Business Group on Health, National Federation of Independent Business, National Grocers Association, National Restaurant Association, National Retail Federation, NATSO for America’s Truck and Travel Stops.

A summary of this legislation can be found here. The full text is also available here

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