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You may or may not support the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. But from a human resources management perspective, the legislation’s requirement that employers report the cost of health care coverage on employees’ W-2 forms will provide both employers and employees with an exceptional benefits education and communication tool.

The PPACA will require most organizations that provide employer-sponsored health care coverage to report the aggregate cost on the W-2 forms they issue to employees. This reporting requirement was originally effective for the 2011 tax year, but in October 2010, the IRS issued Notice 2010-69, which made 2011 reporting optional and postponed mandatory compliance to 2012. Therefore, W-2s issued in January 2013 must include this information.

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