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ACA research fee payment deadline approaching

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The deadline on paying a medical outcomes research fee mandated by the health care reform law and paid by self-funded employers and insurers is nearing.

The fee, known as the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Fee, is $2.17 per plan participant for plan years ending on or after Oct. 1, 2015, and before Oct. 1, 2016. Payment of the fee is due Aug. 1.

The fee initially was set at $1 per plan participant for the first plan year ending after Sept. 30, 2012, and at $2 per participant in succeeding years.

For plan years starting after Sept. 30, 2014, the fee is indexed to reflect the percentage increase in national medical expenditures as determined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The fee, which is paid to the IRS, applies to all health care plan participants, including those in retiree-only plans, even though such plans are largely exempt from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

In the case of self-funded plans, the fee is paid by employers, while insurers are liable for the fee in plans they insure.