Sarah Borders, CEBS February 1, 2023 4 min read

W-2 Aggregate Cost of Coverage

If an employer filed more than 250 W-2 forms during the prior year, the aggregate cost of coverage must be included in box 12 of each employee’s W-2.  Specifically, the requirement to report is based on how many W-2 forms were filed under each EIN for the previous calendar year.

For example, if an employer filed more than 250 W-2s under one EIN in 2021, then they must report the aggregate cost of coverage for 2022. In contrast, if the company has separate EINs and each EIN filed less than 250 W-2s during 2021, this requirement wouldn’t apply.

The total cost of coverage includes both the employee and employer contributions of the employer-sponsored major medical coverage for fully insured and self-insured plans. This would also include any prescription drug coverage or dental or vision coverage that’s combined with medical coverage.

The total cost of coverage does not include any standalone dental or vision plans, group life or disability coverage, individual worksite products, health FSA elections, HRA benefits, HSA contributions, or long-term care. But in some cases, an EAP, on-site clinic, or wellness benefit may need to be included in the reportable amount if these programs provide medical care.

Note that the information reported on the W-2 is informational only and does not affect taxable income or any other amount reported in other boxes on employees’ W-2s. However, if an employer fails to report this information or includes incorrect amounts, then amended W-2 forms must be filed with the IRS.


Sarah Borders, CEBS

Principal, Benefits Compliance Solutions. Sarah has spent the last 15 years in the employee benefits industry, has numerous designations and serves on NAHU’s Employer Working Group Subcommittee and is an active board member of Austin AHU. She recently stepped down as Vice President of Benefits Compliance at one of the nation's largest brokerage firms to start her own compliance consulting practice. Her designations include an active license with the Texas Department of Insurance, CEBS (Certified Employee Benefits Specialist), Certified Health Care Reform Professional, HIPAA certification and Health Care Service Associate. She holds an MBA from Texas A&M Corpus Christi and a BA from University of Incarnate Word. Her consulting firm, Benefits Compliance Solutions, partners with employers to identify unknown risks and avoid hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and lawsuits from failure to comply with their healthplan obligations.