There are three different flavors of Form 1095 and most people don’t know much about them, so what’s the scoop with the 1095-A, B, and C?
Form 1095-A is for the taxpayer who purchased health insurance through the marketplace. In MN they are sent out by MNSure. They are originally due by the end of January, but MNSure gets backed up and has missed that deadline the last two years. The 1095-A is what you need to calculate the premium tax credit or to pay back a portion of your advanced premium tax credit. It shows the premiums paid, the advanced credit claimed, and has a place for the second lowest cost silver plan. Sometimes you need to fill out the second lowest cost silver plan yourself based on the MNSure website. You definitely need this form if you are claiming the premium tax credit or you took the advanced premium tax credit, so don’t file your return until you have the 1095-A in hand.
Form 1095-B is issued by employers to their employees and it shows which months they were covered through the employer’s health insurance plan. Every individual taxpayer needs to report which months they had health insurance every year, so this form can be handy for individuals, especially those who may have changed jobs and had gaps in their coverage during the year. While this form is useful, if you have other documentation showing which months you had coverage, you do not need the 1095-B in order to file your return. The due date for these is the end of March, so if you know when you had health insurance, don’t wait for the 1095-B to show up, just go ahead and file your return.
Form 1095-C is issued by the health insurance companies to individuals who were covered during the year. Again this can be helpful for individuals who had different coverages during the year, but if you have other documentation, this 1095-C is not required to file your tax return. With another end-of-March deadline, it’s not required that you wait around for the 1095-C to arrive before you file your tax return. In many cases the 1095-B and 1095-C will arrive and show you the exact same information that you were covered. Just stick them in your files, because if you don’t require the 1095-B or the 1095-C to file your return, you certainly don’t require both of them showing identical information.
As part of the Dec 2017 new tax bill, the penalty for not having health coverage is waived in 2019, but for 2017 and 2018 it will still apply so tracking your insurance with the three flavors of Form 1095 is a must.