Employees to receive new tax document this year

Case Western Reserve employees eligible for university health insurance in 2015 will receive a new tax document this year.

But they don’t need to wait for it to file this year’s returns.

Confusing, right?

Consider it a kind of phase-in to another governmental requirement, like the proverbial toe in the water of a swimming pool. The form is part of federal agencies’ work to turn provisions of the 2010 Affordable Care Act into actual action steps.

In this instance, Internal Revenue Service Form 1095-C, “Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage,” provides information regarding whether the university offered health insurance coverage to an employee and, in turn, whether that employee selected the benefit.

As part of the ACA, every individual and dependent family member must have a minimum level of insurance coverage throughout the year. Form 1095-C lets the government know if the individual received coverage from an employer.

If an individual did not choose coverage offered through an employer, then he or she must qualify for an exemption or may be required to pay a penalty to the federal government.

So why is the form being sent if it is not required to file 2015 taxes? Because individuals should have the official information for future reference.

Case Western Reserve employees eligible for benefits will receive Form 1095-C via mail by March 31. Benefits-eligible individuals will receive this form whether or not they used one of Case Western Reserve’s insurance options during 2015. If employees have questions about the form, they can call Human Resources at 216.368.6781.

Those covered through the HealthSpan HMO will receive a second form, the 1095-B, that indicates the period of coverage the employee (and, if applicable, family members) received through HealthSpan. Those who receive the 1095-B, or believe that they should be receiving a 1095-B from HealthSpan, should contact HealthSpan directly at 800.686.7100.

The IRS also has set up a page on its website regarding the 1095 forms, including their purpose and the steps taxpayers should take. This information is available at irs.gov/Affordable-Care-Act/Questions-and-Answers-about-Health-Care-Information-Forms-for-Individuals. In addition, those who have tax advisers also should consult with them regarding individual circumstances.