Deadline for Affordable Care Act enrollment fast approaching; new filing instructions for 2014 Federal Income Tax

With less than a month until the February 15 Affordable Care Act (ACA) enrollment deadline, Erlanger ACA representatives want to remind all individuals of the requirements for filing 2014 Federal Income Tax.

Under the Individual Shared Responsibility provision of the ACA, tax payers must report if they have qualifying health coverage, if they qualify for a health coverage exemption or need to make a payment.  Qualifying coverage, also called minimum essential coverage, includes most employer-sponsored coverage, coverage through most government-sponsored programs like Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP (CoverKids), and coverage purchased through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

If all individuals listed on the tax return have “qualifying” health care coverage, the filer will simply need to check a box to report that coverage when filing the return in 2015.  For each month in 2014 that an individual on the return does not have “qualifying” healthcare coverage or qualify for a health coverage exemption, the filer will need to make an individual shared responsibility payment.  Everyone listed on the return will also need to maintain qualifying healthcare coverage in 2015 to avoid the payment in the future.

If you enrolled in health insurance through the Federal Health Insurance Marketplace, you will need to complete the following steps when preparing to file your 2014 Federal Income Tax.

  • You will receive an envelope labeled “Important Tax or Health Coverage Information Inside” which will include:
    • Cover letter
    • Form 1095-A instructions
    • Form 1095-A tax document
  • Keep all the information you receive.
    • Keep all hard copies of the documents you received from the Marketplace about your insurance coverage.
    • You will need important information from tax form 1095-A when you file your taxes as well as Tax Form 8962 if you received Advanced Premium Tax Credit (APTC) from the Marketplace.
      • Form 1095-A will be sent directly by the Marketplace
      • Form 8962 will need to be obtained by yourself
  • Verify Tax Form 1095-A.
    • Check all the information on the 1095-A form about you and/or your household is correct (name(s), address, Social Security numbers, etc)
  •  Contact the Federal Marketplace Call Center to make any necessary changes.
    • If you think information listed on tax form 1095-A is incorrect, you may visit http://www.healthcare.gov to find out how to receive a correction form or call 1-800-318-2596.

For those who have already filed their tax return before they receive tax form 1095-A, they can file an amended federal tax return.  Income tax refund will not be received until the 1095-A form has been included with the income tax return.

“The key to filing your 2014 Federal Income Tax is not to feel overwhelmed with the changes,” said Katherlyn Geter, Erlanger Health System ACA Program Manager.  “Individuals should not hesitate to ask for professional tax assistance when filing their taxes this year.  Many of the tax professionals are well aware of the changes and are prepared to help.”

For a list of free tax preparers in your area, please visit http://www.irs.gov or dial 211 for local tax assisters.  For ACA questions and/or enrollment assistance, contact Erlanger’s Community Health Centers: Dodson Avenue at 423-778-2800 or Southside at 423-778-2700, City of Chattanooga at 311, American Exchange at 1-888-995-1674, or Medical Foundation at 423-622-2872.

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