Information Reporting: A Complexity of Health Care Reform

On March 29, 2011, the IRS published Notice 2011-28 which provides interim guidance on informational reporting to employees of the cost of their employer-sponsored group health plan coverage. This informational reporting is required under § 6051(a)(14) of the Internal Revenue Code. This provision was enacted as part of the Affordable Care Act to provide useful and comparable consumer information to employees on the cost of their health care coverage. This reporting to employees is for their information only, to inform them of the cost of their health care coverage, and does not cause excludable employer-provided health care coverage to become taxable.

Employers are not required to report the cost of health coverage on any informational forms required to be furnished to employees prior to January 2013. However, any employers that choose to voluntarily report earlier (on the 2011 Forms W-2 generally furnished to employees in January 2012) may rely on this notice.