If you are a consumer who enrolled in health insurance through the Marketplace with a tax credit, you likely received a 1095-A form in the mail. You may also have some questions about how to complete the health insurance information on your tax filing form. If your organization works directly with consumers, either providing enrollment assistance or helping them with tax preparation, you may also be hearing about the 1095-A and may have some questions about how health insurance and tax filings intersect. Below is a primer, replete with flow chart, which breaks it all down for you.
Where consumers get their coverage—Marketplace, employer, Medicaid—will determine the impact coverage has on their taxes. Consumers who have health insurance through their jobs will likely see no changes when they file their taxes – they just check the box on their tax forms indicating they had coverage throughout the year. The same thing applies to consumers who are covered by Medicaid, Medicare, or their parent’s health plan. Pretty simple!
During this year’s open enrollment period, 536,929 Georgians purchased health insurance through Healthcare.gov and about 90% received financial assistance to help lower the cost of their premiums. To keep that tax credit, they’ll have to fill out Form 8962, which asks questions about their health insurance and their income. To help complete that form, all consumers that received a tax credit should have received Form 1095-A in the mail from the Marketplace. Consumers can also find this form on their Healthcare.gov account.
The health insurance tax credit is based on income and household size. When consumers applied for coverage, they estimated their income for the coming year and that amount was used to determine their tax credit. If a consumer misestimated their income, the credit they received may be too high or too low. During the tax filing process, the difference between estimated and actual income is reconciled, and the corresponding tax credit may be adjusted up or down. This means some consumers may get a refund and some consumers may have to pay back part of their tax credit. If a consumer did not apply for a tax credit previously, they can apply for a credit to be included in their tax refund.
If a consumer went without health care coverage at any point in the year, they may need to fill out an additional Form 8965 to determine whether or not they will need to pay a fine. This year the maximum fee per family will be $285, but fines will increase each year, up to 2% of a person’s annual income. If a person falls into Georgia’s coverage gap, they will not have to pay the fine, but will need to file the appropriate documents to prove they do not have access to affordable coverage
Household, family, and income changes should be reported throughout the year to Healthcare.gov in order to avoid surprises at tax time.
If you have questions about how your health coverage may affect your taxes, consult a tax professional. Our partners at Georgia Watch can connect you with free tax preparation help—just click here.