W-2 forms now must include medical premium amounts
Wayne Pettigrew, senior consultant with Group & Pension Planners Inc., discusses new W-2 premium reporting requirements under the Affordable Care Act.
Q: What premiums should be included?
A: The report should include all premiums paid for major medical, the health flexible spending account (FSA) value for the plan year in excess of employee's cafeteria plan salary reductions for all qualified benefits and hospital indemnity or specified illness (insured or self-funded), plans paid through salary reduction (pretax) or by employer. Dental, life disability and vision coverage premiums paid separately are not required to be included on the form.
Q: What happens if employers omit the information from their W2s. Are they fined?
A: There is transition relief for certain employers, types of coverage, and situations from the requirement to report the value of coverage on the 2012 forms W-2. This relief will apply to future calendar years until the IRS publishes additional guidance. However, any guidance that expands the reporting requirements will apply only to calendar years that start at least six months after the guidance is issued. For the 2012 year, employers filing fewer than 250 forms W-2 for the previous calendar year will not be required to report the cost of coverage on the 2012 forms W-2.
PAULA BURKES, BUSINESS WRITER