Photo (cc) by 401(K) 2013
We’ve been talking about it for years, but this is the year the Affordable Care Act finally shows up on your tax return. The health insurance mandate imposed by Obamacare was implemented last year, and now it’s time to pay the piper if you didn’t sign up for coverage.
Even if you have health insurance, you’ll have an extra step or two to complete on your tax return this year. Money Talks News finance expert Stacy Johnson explains more in this video. See what Stacy has to say, and then read on for the details.
Insurance comes from Uncle Sam, your boss or your wallet? Check a box.
We’ll start with the scenario that applies to the vast majority of Americans. Do you get your health insurance in any of these ways?
- Workplace benefit
- Other government source such as the VA or military benefits
- Individual policy purchased on your own (i.e. no government subsidy)
If you’re in any of these categories, all you need to do is check a box on line 61 of the 1040 form saying you had health insurance. That’s it. You’re done.
So for most people, Obamacare doesn’t complicate matters much, if at all. Yet publications like Forbes put knots in people’s stomachs by publishing recent articles like Think Filing Taxes Was Tough Before Obamacare? Just Wait.
Government helped cover your premium? Fill out a form.
That only leaves two groups of people: those who received government subsidies to help them buy health insurance, and those who did not have health insurance at all for some period during the year. While in the minority, this group still encompasses millions.
Let’s talk next about those who received a subsidy.
First, you should be on the lookout for Form 1095-A to arrive in the mail. You should also be able to download it from your Health Insurance Marketplace account, if you have one. In case you’ve forgotten, that account can be found at HealthCare.gov, and you’ll find the form in the “Messages” section of your account.