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October 8, 2013

Updated Form 8928 for Reporting Welfare Benefit Plan Violations

Employers sponsoring group health plans, as well as certain other responsible entities, such as insurers or third party administrators, are required to self-report welfare benefit plan violations including failure to comply with certain federal laws such as:

  • COBRA continuation coverage provisions;
  • Certain Affordable Care Act provisions, including the insurance market reforms and the claims, appeals and external review processes;
  • HIPAA portability, access and renewability provisions;
  • Prohibitions against discrimination based on a health factor, including genetic information;
  • Parity between mental health benefits and medical/surgical benefits;
  • Minimum hospital lengths of stay in connection with childbirth;
  • “Michelle’s Law”; and
  •  Comparable employer contributions to Health Savings Accounts and Archer MSAs.

The consequence of failure to comply with these federal mandates could result in a $100 per day/per person penalty.  

The self-reporting is accomplished on the Form 8928, Return of Certain Excise Taxes Under Chapter 43 of the Internal Revenue Code, which has recently been updated, together with Form’s instructions, without significant change.   The reporting must be done by the employer or other responsible entity’s tax return filing due date, without extensions. 

Failure to self-report a violation can result in penalties, which can be as much as 25% of the tax due, as well as interest. There is a ‘reasonable cause’ and ‘not-willful’ neglect exception available; in which case, interest and penalties would not be imposed as long as a correction of the violation is made within 30 days.

 

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