On or about 10/16/10, the IRS posted on their website Notice 2010-69 that "provides interim relief to employers with respect to reporting the cost of coverage under an employer-sponsored group health plan on Form W-2". "Specifically, this notice provides that reporting the cost of such coverage will not be mandatory for Forms W-2 issued for 2011.
The Treasury Department and the IRS have determined that this relief is appropriate to provide employers with additional time to make any necessary changes to their payroll systems or procedures in preparation for compliance with the reporting requirement." Thus, providing the health insurance coverage on Forms W-2 is voluntary for tax year 2010 but will be mandatory for tax year 2011 W-2s that come out in January 2012. The official statement continues to state that this information is requested for the benefit of the employees and not for the federal government.