Have you received your Obamacare coverage forms yet?
Why you need these various 1095 tax-related forms and what to do if you don't get yours
Tuesday, March 08, 2016
The hubby and I get our medical insurance through his employer. Today we and several of his coworkers got our Form 1095-C in connection with our health care coverage.
This is one of two new documents that employers are sending out to their workers in connection with the Affordable Care Act, or as many of us call it (fondly and otherwise), Obamacare.
When one of the hubby's colleagues raised questions about the form, I suggested he send out a company-wide email blast with a link to my story on ACA forms. He declined. We now have a dinnertime discussion topic.
So I'm doing the next best thing -- talking about here on the ol' blog the Obamacare tax forms and what to do if you don't get one.
As I noted, you can get the full details on which tax forms are ACA-related in my piece over at Bankrate. But here are the highlights on the 1095 statements.
Three ACA informational forms: Form 1095-A is officially titled the Health Insurance Marketplace Statement. It debuted last filing season.
As the name indicates, it is sent by the exchanges through which individuals purchased their medical coverage.
Forms 1095-B and 1095-C are new for the 2016 filing season. Each lets workers know that they had, via their workplaces, acceptable minimal coverage, for how long (the full previous tax year or just some of the months) and which family members (spouse, dependents) also were covered.
Form 1095-B is issued by health care insurance issuers or some smaller companies that provide coverage for employees.
Form 1095-C is the same as B, but it's issued by large employers. So now you know; the hubby is part of a heartless mega-corp, but one that has good benefits!
If you get a 1095-A, you need that document to reconcile any advance premium tax credit you got to help pay for your medical coverage. Or, if you didn't get the credit up front, to claim it on Form 8962, Premium Tax Credit, which is discussed in my story.
Coverage confirmation to avoid penalty: Recipients of the B or C versions want to hang onto these forms as verification that they did have ACA required coverage, which they tell the Internal Revenue Service about by checking the appropriate box on their 1040EZ, 1040A or long form 1040.
And yes, my ACA forms story also looks at just where on each version of the tax return such medical care declaration is made.
If you don't confirm that you had coverage -- and don't have the paperwork to back you up if the IRS asks --then you could end up owing the penalty, officially known as the Sheared Responsibility Payment.
OK, this is the last time, I promise, that I'm reminding you that you can read more at my Bankrate story.
So what happens if you don't get one of the 1095 forms?
As I mentioned, you don't need to send any version of the 1095 to the IRS with your annual return. But you do need the info, especially if you got coverage through the marketplace and qualified/qualify for the Premium Tax Credit, to accurately complete your 1040.
Multiple or no 1095s possible: And you definitely want to keep the 1095(s) with your tax records.
A quick note about the pluralization of 1095 in the prior sentence. Depending on your personal situation, you might get multiple 1095 versions and forms.
This could happen if you had coverage from more than one provider or you worked for more than one employer that offered health care.
You also are likely to get more than one 1095 if you changed coverage or employers during the year or if different members of your family received coverage from different coverage providers.
Or you might not get any 1095. This would be the case if you are exempt from the ACA required coverage.
Most of us, however, got or soon will get at least one of these three 1095 statements.
If you didn't or don't, here are your next steps.
Missing Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement
The marketplace should have furnished Form 1095-A to you by Feb. 1.
If you were expecting a form and did not get one, you should contact your marketplace. Your marketplace's website should have the steps you need to follow to get a copy of your Form 1095-A online.
Missing Form 1095-B, Health Coverage
Health care coverage providers should furnish you Form 1095-B by March 31. While it's not necessary to wait on the form to file your taxes, it does confirm that you had acceptable coverage.
If you have any concerns that you might have had a gap in coverage and can't clear up the uncertainty through other sources, contact your employer or provider to get a copy of the 1095-B.
Missing Form 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage Insurance
If you, like the hubby, work for a big company, it should provide you a copy of this form by March 31. As with the B version, if it's late, contact your employer.
And also as with 1095-B, you don't have to wait to get the 1095-C to file your taxes as long as you are confident you had adequate coverage to avoid the tax penalty.
Finally, regardless of which version of 1095 you're expecting, if it doesn't show up, the IRS says not to call its offices. The agency doesn't issue any of these statements and can't provide you copies.
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