Anthem Blue Cross
ACA News: Collecting Social Security Numbers
July 14, 2015
Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA or health care reform law), U.S. citizens and legal residents must have basic health insurance or face a penalty. This basic insurance is called minimum essential coverage (MEC). Many people already get coverage that counts as MEC through their employers. Those who don’t have it may have to pay a penalty to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It’s called the individual shared responsibility payment.
Reporting for individual and fully insured (FI) group business
Starting in 2016, employers, insurance companies and others who provide MEC will be required to report who’s covered with them to the IRS. This is called Minimum Essential Coverage Reporting, or IRS Code Section 6055 Reporting, and it will take place each year. This is how the federal government will make sure people have MEC. It’s also how the IRS will determine who may owe a penalty for not having coverage.
Self-funded or Administrative Services Only (ASO) groups are responsible for filing their own reports, using form 1095-C, starting in 2016.
Collecting Social Security Numbers
As required by law, we will file the 1095-B form for our fully insured groups and send a copy to the plan members. When we send the IRS reports, we’ll list all individuals covered under a group’s plan by their Social Security numbers (SSNs). For some of our members and dependents, we are missing their SSNs. In these cases, the IRS requires us to collect them for reporting purposes. That’s why, starting July 24, a staggered mailing will begin and continue through October to gather this data.
As a reminder, ASO groups are responsible for getting the SSNs from workers and their dependents. They can hire a third party to do the reporting for them, but the employer is responsible for the report being complete and correct. We will not act as the third party for ASO groups and will not file the report for a fee.
For more details about MEC and IRS reporting, read this fact sheet. For more information abut this topic, you can also have your clients refer their employees to anthem.com/ca and select the Resources tab. You can also send your Individual clients there for more information.