As discussed in our March 28, 2019 blog post, New Jersey adopted its own individual health insurance mandate, the   New Jersey Health Insurance Market Preservation Act (“NJHIMPA”).  The NJHIMPA requires, with certain qualifying exemptions, New Jersey residents to have minimum essential health coverage. New Jersey employers must verify health coverage information provided by individuals. To assist with employer reporting, New Jersey launched an official website with guidance on the filing requirements.

Recent updates to the official website, which was lasted updated on July 25, 2019, are summarized below.

Use of Forms 1094 and 1095 Are Expected to Satisfy Employer Reporting in New Jersey

The State requires that employers provide New Jersey taxpayers and the State with the same Forms 1094 and 1095 health-care coverage information they send to the IRS. Employers will file health coverage forms through New Jersey’s system for filing of W-2 forms. Since March 28, 2019, the State has provided additional guidance encouraging companies to send data pertaining only to New Jersey full-year and part-year residents. However, for ease of filing, New Jersey will accept the same 1094/1095 data files sent to the IRS, even if they include data about individuals who are not residents of New Jersey. In other words, the State will accept “bulk” files.

Bulk Files May Raise Privacy and Other Laws

The State cautions out-of-state companies who provide information on non-residents of New Jersey that they should consult privacy and other laws pertaining to residents of other states before sending any sensitive or personal data to New Jersey.

Electronic Filing is Required

Updated guidance from the State provides that there is no paper filing option available.

Insurers or employers can submit the required health insurance coverage returns using their Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services (DORES) MFT SecureTransport service user credentials. For those without MFT SecureTransport, user credentials and/or technical specifications may be obtained by emailing Files for multiple companies can be submitted via a single file (that must not be in a zipped file format) from a single MFT SecureTransport account.

New Jersey strongly encourages filers to participate during their testing period, which will run from July 1, 2019 through September 1, 2019.

Filing Deadline for the 2019 Tax Year is March 31, 2020

The deadline to electronically file 2019 coverage information for the 2019 tax year is March 31, 2020. This deadline tracks the deadline to file Forms 1094 and 1095 electronically with the IRS. Under preliminary guidance, the deadline was earlier, by February 15, 2020.

Employer Takeaways

Employers in New Jersey and out-of-state employers with New Jersey residents should work with legal counsel and their vendors to assess their obligations and prepare for the 2019 tax year reporting obligations. They should consider participating in the State’s testing period and continue to monitor the State’s website for further updates on their reporting obligations.

California, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, and the District of Columbia also have adopted individual health insurance mandates, and several other states including Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington are considering their own individual health insurance mandates.

As more states adopt mandates, employers operating in multiple states should monitor their obligations in the various jurisdictions where their employees reside and expect reporting obligations to become more complex than they are under the ACA.