Last year, more than 560,000 North Carolinians purchased quality, affordable coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace, and most benefited from advance payments of the premium tax credit that lowered their monthly premiums. With the tax filing deadline a few weeks away, many people have questions about their taxes and health insurance, here are some helpful tips.
- Most people just need to check a box. The vast majority of tax filers who have non-Marketplace coverage – such as a plan through your employer, Medicare, Medicaid, or other coverage – will just need to check a box when you file your taxes to indicate that that everyone in their household had coverage for 2015. This year if you had non-Marketplace insurance you may receive a new form, called 1095-B or 1095-C in the mail from your employer, insurance company, or a government program like Medicare or Medicaid. You don’t need to attach this information to your return or wait to receive the form before filling your taxes, but should keep it in a safe place with other tax records. For more information on all these forms, visit the IRS website at: irs.gov/Affordable-Care-Act
- If you had a 2015 marketplace plan you must file a tax return to reconcile any advance payment of the premium tax credit received in order to maintain eligibility for future help. By now, all Marketplace consumers should have received one or more 1095A statements from the Marketplace. These statements include important information needed to complete and file a tax return. If you received advance payments of the premium tax credit it is extremely important that you reconcile these payments when you file your tax return. Individuals who do not do so will generally see their refunds delayed, and will not be eligible for advance payment of premium tax credits in future years.
- The fee for not having coverage is increasing. For those who could afford health insurance and chose not to get coverage, the fee for not having minimum essential coverage in 2015 has increased to 2% of household income or $325 per person. The fee is pro-rated based on how many months you are uninsured. The fee goes up again for 2016. If you do not have coverage or an exemption in the 2016 calendar year, but could afford coverage, the fee increases to $695 per person or 2.5% of income, whichever is higher.
- Some people who didn’t have health coverage in 2015 may qualify for an exemption. While those who can afford health coverage but chose not to enroll generally have to pay a fee, some people who couldn’t afford coverage or met other conditions can receive an exemption. You can find out more information online from the Marketplace or IRS or by making an appointment with a Navigator at pisgahlegal.org
- FREE Help is available. If you have questions about your Marketplace tax forms, qualifying for exemptions, or the fee, you can make a FREE appointment to meet with a Navigator by calling 855-733-3711, or schedule online with Pisgah Legal or go to www.getcoveredamerica.org. Please don’t wait; April 15th is coming up soon.