Ensuring that Filing Isn’t Overly “Taxing” for Uninsured/Under-insured Floridians

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Ensuring that Filing Isn’t Overly “Taxing” for Uninsured/Under-insured Floridians

Tax filing season is officially underway. In addition to promoting enrollment in coverage for 2015, we will also need to increase awareness of issues related to filing taxes and health coverage.  For starters, individuals and families were required to have coverage throughout 2014, or they must pay a limited penalty when filing their tax returns…UNLESS they qualify for an exemption. Most low-income Floridians who didn’t have coverage for some or all of the year won’t owe a penalty, but they must apply for an exemption when filing their taxes.

The form used to claim an exemption from the coverage requirement as well as to calculate any penalty owed is IRS Form 8965. (Note:  Any exemption – as well any penalty owed for not having coverage – is determined on a month-by-month basis. As a result, some may qualify for an exemption for certain months but still owe a penalty for others.

The IRS lists 19 different categories of exemptions, including a “general hardship” exemption.  The broadest exemption deserves a specific mention. Because Florida did not expand Medicaid in 2014, if family income was less than 138 percent of the poverty level ($16,104 for an individual and $27,310 for a family of 3), you’ll be exempt from a penalty for the entire year. Also, despite what you may have heard earlier, you don’t need to apply to the Marketplace to claim this exemption; instead use Code “G” on Form 8965.

Watch for more information, and email [email protected] questions.