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Tax Season and the ACA

For consumers who had Marketplace health insurance in 2014:

On February 20, 2015, everyone who received a 1095-A from their insurance company will get an email from Health and Human Services letting them know that they either got a correct 1095-A or that their 1095-A was reported in error. If your 1095-A was incorrect, you need to wait to file your tax return until you receive a corrected form. You may also find your 1095-A on your account at Healthcare.gov. If your 1095-A was incorrect and you have already filed, the IRS will release more information soon about how that will be handled. We will put that information here when it is released.

For consumers who did not have health insurance in 2014:

18952334_s.jpgSo you went to do your taxes and realized that you owe a penalty on your federal taxes because you were uninsured during 2014. The penalty for 2014 was $95 per adult OR 1% of your income, whichever is greater.  The penalty for 2015 is even steeper - $325 per adult OR 2% of your income. The open enrollment period to enroll for 2015 ended on February 15, 2015.

Because this is the first tax filing season where the impact of being uninsured is being felt, it may come as a surprise to many. Some taxpayers will qualify for an exemption if the insurance available to them is unaffordable.  Others will have to pay the penalty.

So what can you do? You have to pay the penalty for 2014 and it is too late to enroll for 2015. Well, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced today that they will open a special enrollment period for the following people:

* You live in a state that uses the Federally Facilitated Marketplace (Wisconsin is such a state),

* Currently are not enrolled in coverage through the FFM for 2015,

* Attest that when they filed their 2014 tax return they paid the fee for not having health coverage in 2014, and

* Attest that they first became aware of, or understood the implications of, the Shared Responsibility Payment after the end of open enrollment (February 15, 2015) in connection with preparing their 2014 taxes.

The special enrollment period will start on March 15, 2015 and end on April 30, 2015. This gives you the opportunity to enroll in health insurance and avoid some or all of the penalty for 2015.

If you have questions about health care insurance and the Healthcare Marketplace, you can find the latest resources for people in the La Crosse area here.