This year’s tax season is the first time tax filers will be asked to provide basic information regarding their health coverage on their tax returns. Here’s what taxpayers need to know:
1) Most people just need to check a box: Most tax filers – about 75 percent – will just need to check a box when they file their taxes to indicate that everyone in their household had coverage for all of 2014. This applies to people who had health coverage through their employer, Medicare, Medicaid, among other sources.
2) If you had Marketplace coverage, you should have your Form 1095-A: Last year, millions of Americans used advance payments of tax credits to help lower the cost of their monthly health insurance premiums. Now that tax season is here, these individuals will need to ensure they received the correct amount of financial assistance when they file their tax returns. People with Marketplace coverage should have received an important statement in the mail from the Marketplace called a Form 1095-A. If you’re still waiting for your 1095-A Form to arrive, check your marketplace account – most forms are available online. You can also call the Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596.
3) If you didn’t have health coverage, use the exemption tool: While those who can afford health coverage but chose not to enroll may have to pay a fee, people who couldn’t afford coverage or met other conditions can receive an exemption. A tool is available on HealthCare.gov can help people who didn’t have insurance last year understand if they might qualify for an exemption.
4) If you have to pay the fee, consider signing up for coverage through the Special Enrollment Period. Tax filers who have to pay the fee and who were unaware or did not understand the requirement to enroll in coverage can take advantage of an opportunity to purchase health insurance coverage through a special enrollment period. If tax filers do not purchase coverage for the remainder of 2015 during this special enrollment period (Mar. 15 – Apr. 30), they will risk having to pay the fee again next year for the entire year when they file their 2015 income taxes.
5) Help is available. Tax filers with questions about exemptions, the fee, the Special Enrollment Period, or Marketplace tax statements should contact the Marketplace Call Center. The call center is open all day, every day at 1-800-318-2596. Additional resources and information for tax filers is also available www.healthcare.gov/taxes.