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Ask the HR Expert — ACA

Jill Schaefer /
Text: "Ask the HR Expert"

Q: We are self-insured. We have an employee who would like to add his wife to his health insurance, but she doesn’t have a SSN. What are acceptable forms of ID? Can we deny coverage under the ACA?

A: If you’re considered an Applicable Large Employer (ALE) under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), then a valid SSN is required for the employer to report the SSNs of covered employees and spouse/children on Form 1095-B.

However, you may be able to temporarily use the spouse’s birthdate in place of her SSN if you continue asking your employee for his wife’s SSN and you do so in a reasonable manner as described under Treasury Regulation § 301.6724–1(a)(1). This means, you’ll want to:

  • Make an initial, documented solicitation to your employee for the SSN.
  • Complete the first annual solicitation by December 31 (or January 31 if the account is opened in December), and
  • Conduct a second annual solicitation by December 31 of the following year.

Additional Resource:
IRS’s ACA FAQs

Bottom Line:
Before denying coverage, consult with your benefits broker.

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