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Major health reform provision pushed back one year Posted: October 13th, 2010

By Maryalene LaPonsie

The IRS has announced a delay in implementing one piece of the health reform legislation. In an effort to increase transparency and awareness of health insurance costs, employers were to be required to list the price of health benefits on employee W-2 forms. However, that requirement has been postponed until 2012.

In a statement, the tax agency said the move was made to allow employers additional time to change their payroll and reporting systems to comply with the new requirement. Although the draft 2011 W-2 form does include a code that can be used to report the cost of employer-sponsored health insurance, its use is not mandated.

Since the health reform legislation passed, rumors have swirled across the Internet that the federal government may begin adding the cost of health benefits to an individual's gross income once the price of insurance was added to the W-2 form. The IRS has denied these rumors, stating that the cost of health care is listed for informational purposes only.