Thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), you should receive new forms along with the W-2, 1099, and other tax forms that you receive from employers and financial institutions. The 1095 forms verify your health care insurance status for tax purposes. 1095-A forms debuted in 2015, but taxpayers will be receiving 1095-B or 1095-C forms for the first time in 2016.
All You Need to Know About the New Obamacare Tax Forms
Form 1095-A is issued through the Federal Health Insurance Marketplace for those who purchased health insurance through the marketplace. Effectively, it is your proof of insurance if you are receiving insurance outside of an employer. All consumers who received cost assistance through the marketplace need the 1095-A form to be able to file their taxes properly.
Forms 1095-B and 1095-C are complementary forms to 1095-A that cover the insurance status for those receiving insurance outside the marketplace. 1095-B forms are provided by insurers; 1095-C forms are provided by employers. Both verify your health care insurance status and give the IRS information about the individual plans. Neither form is necessary for completion of your tax return, but it is important that you verify that the information provided in each form is correct. Incorrect or conflicting information between the forms could result in incorrect processing of your return.
Employers with fifty or more full-time employees are required to submit 1095-C forms to notify the IRS and their employees about the coverages that were offered and accepted. This verifies that your coverage was accepted and meets the minimum requirements for ACA coverage, therefore keeping you from incurring the penalty for insufficient health insurance coverage (known as the "individual shared responsibility payment"). 1095-C forms are required whether the coverage is fully insured by the company or is employer-sponsored self-insurance.
Insurers supply 1095-B forms to individuals identified as the "responsible individual" — in other words, the person responsible for the health care coverage of you and your family. 1095-B's are intended to cover all other situations that do not fall under 1095-A or 1095-C, including individuals buying their own coverage outside of the marketplace and smaller group coverage that falls below 1095-C levels, whether fully insured or self-funded.
Both forms are relatively simple, focusing on listing the coverage months for all of the individuals covered. They will also contain basic information about the employer, coverage provider, and plans offered.
If you have worked for more than one employer during the tax year and both are required to file a 1095-C, you should generally receive a 1095-C form from each employer. However, if you worked for different divisions and locations within the same company, you will only receive one 1095-C that covers both employment situations.
Employers have a further burden that you do not see as an employee. They must file a corresponding 1094-B or 1094-C with the IRS proving that the plan they offered you constitutes the minimum essential coverage, along with other information about the available plans.
All 1095 forms must be either hand-delivered or sent as paper copies by mail, unless you opt-in for electronic delivery. 1095-A forms will be provided by February 1, 2016. 1095-B and 1095-C forms must be supplied by March 31, 2016. Remember, it is not necessary to wait for 1095-B or 1095-C forms to arrive before preparing your tax return.
Still confused? Don’t worry, there is plenty of reference information available to you through the IRS and other health-care insurance information sites. Look for these forms and review them, but do not stress about it. Save that stress for filling out your tax return.