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On Friday, September 18, 2015, CMS released an FAQ stating employers will not receive notifications as to which of their employees received APTCs in 2015. The IRS will independently determine any liability for the employer shared responsibility payment without regard to whether or not the Marketplace issued a notice. Employers should expect to begin receiving shared responsibility payment notifications starting in spring of 2016 and be prepared to go through the appeals process if appropriate.
The Marketplace will begin notifying employers of APTCs beginning in 2016 if an employee received an APTC for at least one month in 2016 and if the Marketplace as an address for the employer. The notices will be sent in batches. The first batch will go out in spring of 2016, following the close of Open Enrollment on the Exchange. Additional batches will be sent out throughout the year. For 2016, only employers whose employees provided an employer address to the Marketplace will be notified. It will not notify employers if an employee terminates Marketplace coverage in 2016.
This serves as a fresh reminder that employers need to ensure they are currently in compliance with the Employer Mandate if they wish to avoid exposure to the ACA’s Employer Mandate penalties. Employers may have been lulled into a false sense of security regarding the penalties due to not having received any notification of employees receiving subsidies. Since the penalties are triggered only when employees receive subsidies, this lack of notification may lead employers to believe they haven’t incurred any penalties in 2015. Starting in 2016, employers will get more timely notices of employees who receive subsidies, but need to be prepared with all appropriate data to promptly appeal any penalties assessed by the IRS from 2015 subsidies.
Assurance will continue to keep you updated if this process changes.