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What the Health Care Law Means to You

health care lawSince the Affordable Care Act has been in place for over a year now, it’s important to understand what affects the health care law will have on you and your tax situation.

Recently the IRS issued a Health Care Tax Tip (HCTT-2015-06) which details how the health care law can effect you. The actual text of the Tip is reproduced below:  

The Health Care Law’s Effect on You

Nearly everyone is affected by the Affordable Care Act and will need to do something new when filing their taxes this year. The following chart will help you better understand how the health care law affects you and everyone on your return. This chart is also available on IRS.gov/aca.

To help navigate these changes, taxpayers and their tax professionals should consider filing returns electronically.Using tax preparation software is the best and simplest way to file a complete and accurate tax return as it guides individuals and tax preparers through the process and does all the math. There are a variety of electronic filing options, including free volunteer assistance, IRS Free File for taxpayers who qualify, commercial software, and professional assistance.

IF YOU… THEN YOU…
Are U.S. citizens or are non-U.S. citizens living in the United States Must have qualifying health care coverage, qualify for a health coverage exemption, or make a payment when you file your tax return
Have health coverage through an employer or under a government program such as Medicare, Medicaid and coverage for veterans for the entire year Just have to check a box on your Form 1040 series return and do not read any further
Do not have coverage for any month of the year Should check the instructions to Form 8965 to see if you are eligible for an exemption
Are eligible for an exemption from coverage for a month Are not responsible for making an Individual Shared Responsibility payment for that month, and must claim the exemption or report an exemption already obtained from the Marketplace by completing Form 8965, Health Coverage Exemptions,and submitting it with your tax return
Do not have coverage and are not eligible for an exemption from coverage for any month of the year Are responsible for making an individual shared responsibility payment when you file your return
Are responsible for making an individual shared responsibility payment Will report it on your tax return and make the payment with your taxes
Received the benefit of more advance payments of the premium tax credit than the amount of credit for which you qualify Will repay the amount in excess of the credit you are allowed subject to a repayment cap
Need qualifying health care coverage for 2015 Can enroll in health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace (Marketplace) during the open enrollment period that runs through Feb. 15, 2015; once open enrollment ends, individuals can enroll only if they qualify under special enrollment provisions
Enroll in health insurance through the Marketplace for yourself or someone else on your tax return Might be eligible for the premium tax credit
Did not enroll in health insurance from the Marketplace for yourself or anyone else on your tax return Cannot claim the premium tax credit
Or another person on your tax return who is enrolled in coverage through the Marketplace is not eligible for health care coverage through your employer or under a government program Might be eligible for the premium tax credit
Are eligible for the premium tax credit Can choose to get premium assistance now to lower your monthly payments or get all the benefit of the credit when you claim it  on your tax return
Choose to get premium assistance now Will have payments sent on your behalf to your insurance provider. These payments are called advance payments of the premium tax credit
Get the benefit of advance payments of the premium tax credit and experience a significant life change, such as a change in income or marital status Report these changes in circumstances to the Marketplace when they happen
Get the benefit of advance payments of the premium tax credit Will report the payments on your tax return and reconcile the amount of the payments  with the amount of credit for which you are eligible

More Information

Find out more about the tax-related provisions of the health care law at IRS.gov/aca.

Find out more about the health care options at HealthCare.gov.

3 Comments

  1. mes53 says:

    What the Health Care Law means to me…..It’s been very frustrating!! Had a plan for 2014; had to lose most doctors and facilities I had been using for years. Had to re-enroll in a different plan for 2015. Now Indiana has passed the HIP Plus Plan which now says I have to change again or be penalized by the federal plan and cause next year’s taxes to be a real mess. I will be starting Social Security in the middle of the year, so am now very confused if I will then not be eligible for the state plan, yet not be allowed to enroll in another Marketplace plan until “open enrollment” time late in the year. In summary, this has all been a nightmare. Any advice?

    1. jblankenship says:

      I suggest that you talk to your local (Indiana) program staff about your situation to determine your options. Sorry I don’t have any more advice for you.

      jb

  2. Mark Zoril says:

    Good post on a relevant topic.

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