November 6, 2023

Young, Colleagues Introduce Legislation to Reduce Burdensome Health Care Reporting Requirements for Employers

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) joined Senators Mark Warner (D-Va.), John Thune (R-S.D.), and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) in introducing two pieces of bipartisan legislation that would protect Americans’ privacy and remove burdensome and bureaucratic reporting requirements in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) by allowing certain communications to be electronically filed. The two bills, the Employer Reporting Improvement Act and the Paperwork Burden Reduction Act, passed the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously earlier this year.

“Under current law, overreaching compliance requirements create uncertainty and stress for employers in Indiana and across the nation. Our bipartisan bills will help reduce these unnecessary burdens and increase efficiency,” said Senator Young.

“The Affordable Care Act was a seismic achievement in expanding access to health care, but it’s still incumbent on Congress to make sure it’s working as smoothly as possible for the Americans and businesses that it serves. These two bipartisan bills will take important steps forward to modernize and streamline compliance requirements while protecting privacy, so that more Americans and employers can access and deploy benefits without getting entangled in red tape,” said Senator Warner.

“Small businesses in South Dakota and across the country have been forced to comply with overly burdensome administrative requirements from the Affordable Care Act. These bills would eliminate convoluted paperwork and streamline the current reporting requirements to ensure businesses can focus their resources on serving their customers and employees,” said Senator Thune.

“We need to make it as easy as possible for Nevada businesses to provide workers with high-quality health care without forcing them to jump through unnecessary hoops. Our bipartisan bills will reduce unnecessary paperwork burdening businesses, and I will continue working to cut through red tape and help Nevadans access high quality health care,” said Senator Cortez Masto.

The Employer Reporting Improvement Act would protect Americans’ privacy and ease compliance burdens on employers. Among other steps, it would modernize communication by allowing employers to electronically file certain documents. It would also protect privacy by clarifying that the IRS can accept full names and dates of birth in lieu of dependents’ and spouses’ Social Security numbers. In addition, it would ease compliance burdens by extending the time period (from 30 days to 90 days) during which an applicable large employer can appeal a penalty for not offering adequate, affordable health insurance to all full-time employees. Finally, it would enact a six-year statute of limitations for the IRS to levy penalties under the Employer Shared Responsibility provision of the ACA.

The Paperwork Burden Reduction Act would reduce the number of physical forms that employers have to mail to employees as part of complying with the ACA. Currently, employers and health insurance providers that provide minimum essential coverage must report this information to the IRS for each covered individual and provide a copy of this information to the covered individual (through 1095-B or 1095-C tax forms, depending on the coverage type) by January 31 of each year. Current IRS regulations allow employers to provide only 1095-B forms electronically. The Paperwork Burden Reduction Act would codify the current IRS policy by allowing the 1095-B to be provided electronically and would extend this to 1095-C, limiting unnecessary physical paperwork.

“The Partnership for Employer-Sponsored Coverage (P4ESC) applauds introduction of the Employer Reporting Improvement Act and the Paperwork Burden Reduction Act in the Senate. We thank the bill’s bipartisan sponsors, Senators Warner, Thune, Cortez Masto, and Young. We are particularly grateful to Senator Warner, who has championed this issue ever since the Affordable Care Act became law. P4ESC hopes that 2023 finally will be the year ACA reporting gets fixed,” said Neil Trautwein, P4ESC’s Executive Director.

“We commend Senators Thune, Warner, Young, and Cortez Masto for introducing the Employer Reporting Improvement Act in the Senate. This is a breath of fresh air that small businesses desperately need. By allowing electronic filing of essential documents and promoting flexibility, this legislation slices through bureaucratic barriers, protecting small businesses from being overly exposed to unwarranted fines. It’s not just about reducing unnecessary paperwork; it’s about empowering small business owners with the flexibility they need to better support their valued employees. The Paperwork Reduction Act, introduced by Senators Warner, Young, Cortez Masto, and Thune, takes a significant step towards providing relief for small business owners from unnecessary red tape. By offering alternative reporting methods, this legislation reduces cumbersome red tape and drives efficiency. This legislation promotes badly needed flexibility and streamlines operations, lowering costs and helping small employers focus on what they do best, running their businesses and supporting their employees,” said Josselin Castillo, Manager of Federal Government Relations, National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).

Full text of the Employer Reporting Improvement Act is available here. Full text of the Paperwork Burden Reduction Act is available here.