How to Claim Health Insurance on Your 2014 Taxes
Proof of health insurance is a new tax filing requirement, but fear not: The process is fairly simple for most people.
By Lacie Glover, NerdWallet Health
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When it’s time to tackle taxes, few of us get excited. And this year the task may be a bit more onerous because it’s the first time we’re required to claim health insurance. Of course this assumes that you know you must account for it, but , according to a December 2014 poll by TurboTax.
Charging a penalty to those without health insurance is one of the last elements of the Affordable Care Act to be implemented. That penalty will come out of the tax refunds — or be tacked onto the tax bills — of any household without health coverage or an exemption for 2014.
Of course, because it’s the tax code, it’s complicated. Here’s a guide to the penalties, exemptions, and how to file your taxes correctly, no matter your health insurance situation.
You Have Health Insurance Through a Government Marketplace
Over 7 million Americans purchased health insurance through a state or federal marketplace in 2014, and most qualified for tax credits or subsidies. If you are one of them, you should have received Form 1095-A in the mail by now. You will need the information on that form to file your taxes. That form is used to reconcile any tax credits you may have qualified for when signing up for your insurance policy.
Related: 6 Ways Your Doctor Can Save You Money
To obtain those tax credits, you had to estimate your 2014 income. If your income ended up being higher than your estimate, you may have to repay some of your tax credits. If that’s the case, the amount will be added to your tax bill or subtracted from your refund.
What to do when you file:You’ll need to obtain IRS Form 8962 and fill it out according to the form you received from the marketplace. You do not need to file Form 1095-A with your taxes; you should keep that for your own records.
You Have Health Insurance Through an Employer or Private Marketplace
Like most Americans, you may get your health insurance through your employer. If that’s true, then you’re practically in the clear already. The Affordable Care Act requires employers with more than 100 employees to provide health insurance, and it also requires those employers to report it to the IRS. The amount paid should be listed in box 12 of your W-2 form.
If you’re one of the few people who opted to obtain health insurance through a private insurance exchange, this means you had insurance, but not from your employer or a state or federal exchange. Rather, you probably bought insurance right from the insurer. Because there are no tax credits or exemptions necessary, filing this year will be similar to previous years.
What to do when you file:Answer “yes” to the new question on your regular federal tax form verifying you and your family had health insurance last year. If you’re ever audited, your proof of insurance for the IRS is your W-2 form, so keep that for a minimum of three years.
Exemptions: What They Are and How to File
An estimated 40 million Americans were uninsured last year, and about half of them qualify for an exemption. For example, if you changed jobs or went uninsured only for three months or less, you can obtain an exemption.
You can see the full list of qualifying exemptions here, but these are some of the most common:
- Coverage is unaffordable. The premiums you would have paid for the minimum coverage health plan is more than 8 percent of your income.
- Income below the filing threshold. In most cases, that’s ,050 annually for an individual or ,050 for a head of household, but it varies. to see whether you’re eligible.
- U.S. citizens living abroad or with residency in another country.
- Members of Indian tribes or certain religious sects.
- Qualifying hardships, such as eviction, foreclosure, death of a close family member, domestic violence, or unpaid medical bills.
What to do if you qualify for an exemption:Answer “no” to the health insurance question on your federal return form. Then, you can claim your exemption by attaching IRS Form 8965 to your federal tax return. Include that form when you mail or e-file your return.
Tax Penalty: How Much Is It and What Happens?
For those who don’t qualify for an exemption, the tax penalty is per uninsured adult and .50 per child, or 1 percent of income over ,000, whichever is greater. Families who are charged per-person amounts are in a lower income category and the penalty will be capped at 5, but most families will pay the percentage. TurboTax estimates the average penalty will be 1 this year.
If you think that’s high, you definitely don’t want to go without health insurance next year. For going uninsured in 2015, the penalty will rise sharply to 2 percent of income over ,000 or 5 per adult and 2.50 per child, with a cap at 5 for that method. Next year, TurboTax estimates the average penalty will nearly double to 8. 2019 penalties will rise again, but less steeply.
What to do if you didn’t have health insurance and don’t qualify for an exemption:Answer “no” to the new question on your federal tax form about health insurance. The amount you owe will be deducted from your refund or will be added to your IRS bill.
Video: Your Money | क्यों रिजेक्ट हो सकता है Health Insurance Claim ? | CNBC Awaaz
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