Employers that sponsor self-insured group health plans, including health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) should keep in mind the upcoming July 31, 2017 deadline for paying fees that fund the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). As background, the PCORI was established as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to conduct research to evaluate the effectiveness of medical treatments, procedures and strategies that treat, manage, diagnose or prevent illness or injury. Under the ACA, most employer sponsors and insurers will be required to pay PCORI fees until 2019.
The amount of PCORI fees due by employer sponsors and insurers is based upon the number of covered lives under each “applicable self-insured health plan” and “specified health insurance policy” (as defined by regulations) and the plan or policy year end date.
- For plan years that ended between January 1, 2016 and September 30, 2016, the fee is $2.17 per covered life and is due by July 31, 2017.
- For plan years that ended between October 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016, the fee is $2.26 per covered life and is due by July 31, 2017.
For example, a plan year that ran from October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016 will pay a fee of $2.17 per covered life. Calendar year 2016 plans will pay a fee of $2.26 per covered life.
NOTE: The insurance carrier is responsible for paying the PCORI fee on behalf of a fully insured plan. The employer is responsible for paying the fee on behalf of a self-insured plan, including an HRA. In general, health FSAs are not subject to the PCORI fee.
Employers that sponsor self-insured group health plans must report and pay PCORI fees using IRS Form 720, Quarterly Federal Excise Tax Return.