IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
March 27, 2014
Mr. Warner (for himself, Mr. Franken, Mr. Begich, Mr. Manchin, Mrs. Shaheen, Ms. Heitkamp, Mr. Udall of New Mexico, and Ms. Klobuchar) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance
To revise reporting requirements under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to preserve the privacy of individuals, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as the
Commonsense Reporting Act of 2014
Congress finds the following:
Reporting requirements under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ( Public Law 111–148 ) should strike the appropriate balance between sufficient reporting to enforce the law and protecting the privacy of individuals.
Protection of the primary insured individual and each other individual covered under the policy, which should include minimizing the transmittal of social security numbers, should be a priority when implementing reporting requirements.
The Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service should continue to work together with other departments and agencies, including the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Labor, and the Small Business Administration, to streamline reporting and administrative processes under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. These same agencies and departments should also work together to identify ways to minimize compliance burdens on businesses, insurance carriers, and individuals.
Protection of dependent privacy
Paragraph (1) of section 6055(b) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by adding at the end the following flush sentence:
For purposes of subparagraph (B)(i), in the case of an individual other than the primary insured, if the health insurance issuer or the employer does not collect or maintain information on the TINs of such individuals (other than for purposes of this section), the individual's name and date of birth may be substituted for the name and TIN.
The amendment made by this section shall apply to returns the due date for which is after December 31, 2013.
Subsection (d) of section 6056 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by adding at the end the following flush sentence:
An individual shall be deemed to have consented to receive the statement under this section in electronic form if such individual has consented at any prior time, to a person required to furnish to such individual any statement for use in filing the return of tax, to receive such statement in electronic form, unless the individual explicitly refuses such consent.
Statements relating to health insurance coverage
Subsection (c) of section 6055 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
An individual shall be deemed to have consented to receive the statement under this subsection in electronic form if such individual has consented at any prior time to receive in electronic form any private health information (such as electronic health records) furnished to such individual by the person required to make such statement, unless the individual explicitly refuses such consent.
The amendments made by this section shall apply to statements the due date for which is after December 31, 2013.
The Department of the Treasury, in consultation with the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Labor, and the Small Business Administration, shall report to Congress not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act on the processes necessary to develop a prospective reporting system in which an employer would be considered to have complied with section 6056 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 for future reporting periods if the employer provided information on a voluntary basis on the affordability and value of the health coverage offered by such employer, generally to whom it is offered, and the length of any waiting period.
The report under subsection (a) should address—
the processes necessary to ensure that Exchanges could access the general information described in subsection (a) to assist in verifying eligibility determinations for advance payment of the premium tax credits under section 36B of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and the cost-sharing subsidies under section 1402 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Public Law 111–148);
guidance on how employers who provide this information on a voluntary basis in advance may be considered exempt from general reporting requirements under section 6056 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, and should instead be required only to provide individual reports to employees who have been deemed eligible for advance payment of premium tax credits;
any barriers that currently exist in data systems maintained by the Department of Health and Human Services or the Internal Revenue Service which would hinder the development of such a verification system, and recommendations for addressing such barriers;
any statutory barriers that would prevent the administration from implementing a voluntary prospective reporting system and exempting employers who utilize such system from general reporting requirements under such section 6056; and
the costs to develop such a system.
Open comment period
After the submission of the report under subsection (a) to Congress, there shall be an open comment period of not less than 60 days for applicable employers and other interested parties to respond to the contents of the report. All comments submitted shall be accessible on a publicly available database.