The ACA requires employers—fully insured and self-funded groups with grandfathered and nongrandfathered plans — to report the cost (including any employee contribution) of employer-sponsored health benefits on their employees’ W-2 forms.
The amount reported is informational only—it doesn’t change the status of health care coverage that’s otherwise tax-exempt.
Q: Why are my clients required to provide W-2 reporting?
A: It helps current employees understand the cost of their coverage. Your clients should be aware that this requirement is for informational purposes only — while the cost of coverage will be reported on W-2 forms, it won’t be taxable. Also, employers aren’t required to provide this information to individuals who receive health care coverage but don’t normally receive W-2 forms, such as retirees.
A: Some types of coverage aren’t subject to this requirement, including dental-only coverage, amounts contributed to an HSA, HRA, or Archer MSA, and the amount of any salary reduction election to a health FSA.
The IRS has a chart that shows what types of coverage your clients need to report, but employers should consult with their legal and tax advisors when preparing their W-2 forms.
A: According to IRS Notice 2012-9, employers who filed fewer than 250 W-2 forms in the preceding calendar year aren’t subject to this requirement at this time.