The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires health insurers to report certain information to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to help ensure that Americans have minimum essential health care coverage. You may have heard this called the individual mandate.
Because we are fully insured through Independence Blue Cross, it is they who will be required to make this report, which will include the name and Tax Identification Number (TIN) – which is typically the Social Security Number (SSN) – of every individual covered by a fully-insured plan. If they do not have a SSN on record for a covered individual, they must make up to three attempts to obtain the SSN.
While we have the SSN on file for all our enrolled members, some of the dependents covered under this plan do not have a SSN on file. In early December, you may receive a letter from Independence Blue Cross requesting you to provide this required information no later than two weeks from the date of the letter. We understand that this is a very busy time in the life of the church as well as concerns you may have about sharing SSN’s. Please know that your privacy is important to the EPA Conference and to Independence Blue Cross. IBX is taking every possible measure to safeguard your personal information.
Independence Blue Cross will be using your SSN to provide you with an IRS Form 1095-B. To verify your health coverage you will need this form to file your federal income tax return each year beginning in 2016, for the tax reporting year of 2015. If IBX does not have your SSN to accurately report health care coverage status, it may affect your ability to file your tax return and force IBX to incur a financial penalty, which would be passed along to the Eastern PA Conference.
Please take time to review any request from Independence Blue Cross and respond in a timely manner. Thank you for your assistance with this important request.
By Jo Fielding,
Executive Director, EPA Board of Pension and Health Benefits