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The Affordable Care Act (ACA) became federal law on March 23, 2010, and includes reforms to the affordability, quality, and accessibility of health insurance and cost-cutting measures, rules, and regulations.

ACA changes to health coverage

The ACA created new rules for health plans, including:

  • Coverage for children up to age 26
  • Coverage of essential health benefits
  • Guaranteed coverage of people with pre-existing medical conditions
  • Removal of annual or lifetime limits on coverage
  • Limits on out-of-pocket costs
  • Limiting employee Flexible Spending Account contributions to $2,500 per year
  • Elimination of discriminatory benefits

ACA information reporting requirements: IRS Form 1095-C

Affordable Care Act tax provisions affect individuals, families, businesses, insurers, tax-exempt organizations, and government entities.

The ACA requires employers with 50 or more employees to offer health coverage that meets minimum standards to its full-time employees and their dependents. As part of this requirement, large employers must annually send IRS Form 1095-C to employees. This form shows whether you were offered health insurance by your employer during the year.

Per IRS Notice 2016-5: Form 1095-C is not necessary to file your tax return and you don’t have to send this form to the IRS. The majority of taxpayers simply check a box on their tax returns to indicate that each member of their family had qualifying health coverage. For additional information about the form, see Questions and Answers.

Transparency in Coverage: Links to Machine-Readable Files

The federal Transparency in Coverage Final Rules, a provision of the Affordable Care Act, require certain group health plans to disclose on a public website information regarding in-network provider rates and historical out-of-network allowed amounts and billed amounts for covered items and services in two separate machine-readable files (MRFs). The MRFs for King County’s health benefit plans are linked below:

  • For the KingCare and KingCare Select plans, the MRFs are hosted by Regence BlueShield here. Search using King County’s Employer Identification Number (EIN) 916001327.
  • For the SmartCare plan, the MRFs are hosted by Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington (Kaiser Permanente) here.

Additional Information

Benefits and retirement

Phone 206-684-1556
Fax: 206-296-7700

Phone hours:
9 a.m. – 4 p.m. weekdays

Fax: 206-296-7678