The 2020 ACA Reporting & Regulation Landscape for US Employers: What’s New?
Updated December 18, 2020
Most of you now have the 2019 ACA filing season under your belt. As we are transitioning into the next ACA filing season – it’s time to focus on what’s new for 2020.
Is the ACA employer mandate still in place for 2020 (and beyond) aka do US employers still need to comply? And are there any new or updated ACA reporting requirements in 2020 for employers to be aware of?
The Affordable Care Act remains law of the land for US employers in 2020
Despite all the legal turmoil these past few years, the employer mandate and all ACA reporting requirements around that remain in full force. Non-compliance of ACA regulations will continue to result in significant IRS penalties.
In December 2018, a federal judge in Texas ruled the entire Affordable Care Act unconstitutional and a year later, the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the finding that the individual mandate was invalid. But it instructed the district court to rehear the matter and “to employ a finer-toothed comb on remand and conduct a more searching inquiry into which provisions of the ACA Congress intended to be inseverable from the individual mandate.” So, the saga continues – the latest is that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case next term, which starts in October 2020. This decision is a bit of a surprise since on January 21, 2020, the Supreme Court denied the challengers’ motions to expedite consideration of the petitions and will proceed on a regular timeline. This essentially means that the Supreme Court won’t rule until after the 2020 election. A final decision is still not expected until Spring or Summer of 2021.
Healthcare will – again – be a hot topic in the 2020 election, but meanwhile, US employers with 50 or more full-time employees or full-time equivalents must stay compliant with all ACA health coverage and ACA reporting requirements in 2020 and most likely beyond.
New: State Filing Requirements for Individual Health Insurance Mandates
Now that you’re finally used to the federal employer mandate being around with its strict reporting guidelines, some states are creating their own ACA-style reporting requirements for employers as a way to enforce their own individual mandate – yay! The expectation is that even if the federal reporting requirements are modified or eliminated, these states will uphold their own state requirements for proof of individual health insurance.