If you work for a company that issues W-2s, you might have also received a form called a 1095-A, the “Health Insurance Marketplace Statement.”
Why does your health insurance coverage matter at tax time? Because, according to the federal government, if you can afford to buy insurance but choose not to carry it, you may have to pay a penalty at tax time.
Here is what you need to know.
If your Family had Health Insurance through an Employer all Year
If you, your spouse and any tax dependents had coverage through an employer (yours or your spouse’s) all year, you have it easy! Form 1095-A will demonstrate this and you will be able to file your taxes with no further insurance questions.
If Someone in your Family was without Insurance for No More than 2 Consecutive Months
This is also easy. If someone was without insurance for 2 months or less, but was insured the rest of the time, you fall into what is called the “short gap” and also will not have to pay anything extra. You will need to fill out Form 8965 for an exemption, using Part III and entering the code of “B” in column c. You will need to specify for which months you are claiming this exemption.
If Someone in your Family was Without Insurance for More than 2 Consecutive Months
If this was the case, you will likely have to a pay a penalty based on the amount of time you were without health insurance. Penalties are calculated in two ways, and you pay whichever is higher.
Percentage of income method
One way the penalty is calculated is as a percentage of your household income above the tax-filing requirement. The penalty is 2.5% of your household income, and the maximum you will pay is the total average yearly premium price of the bronze-level plans in the Health Care Marketplace.
The other way the penalty is calculated is per person. Under the per-person method, charges are:
- Adults: $695 each
- Children younger than 18: $347.50 each
The maximum penalty using this method is $2,085, and you will only pay for the number of people who did not have coverage.
If you were covered for some, but not all, of the year, you will pay the cost for uncovered months. The cost for each uncovered month is 1/12 of the total cost as calculated above. So, for an adult under the individual method who is uncovered for four months, the cost is $695, divided by 12, times 4, or about $232.