By Michelle Andrews, Kaiser Health News
In addition to the normal thrills and chills of the income tax filing season, this year consumers have the added excitement of figuring out how the health law figures in their 2014 taxes.
The good news is that for most people the only change to their normal tax filing routine will be to check the box on their Form 1040 that says they had health insurance all year.
“Someone who had employer-based coverage or Medicaid or Medicare, that’s all they have to do,” says Tricia Brooks, a senior fellow at Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families.
The law requires people to have “minimum essential coverage,” but most types of insurance qualify. Continue reading
This is the first year people without health insurance could face big penalties. (Getty Images)
By April Dembosky
Most days in early January, tax preparation offices are dead. Most people won’t get their W-2 or other tax documents until later this month.
It’s all about the penalty for not having health insurance.
But at one H&R Block office in San Francisco, office manager Sue Ellen Smith is expecting things to pick up fast. The IRS commissioner declared back in November that this tax season will be one of the most complicated ever.
“This year taxes and health care intersect in a brand-new way,” Smith said.
This is the first year that people who do not have health insurance will have to pay a fine, and Smith says that fine could be bigger than most people expect.
She takes the example of Ray and Vicky. They’re a fictional couple from an H&R Block flier. Together they earn $65,000 a year. Neither has health insurance. Continue reading
By John M. Gonzales, CHCF Center for Health Reporting
The income you declare this year will be used to determine if you’re eligible for a health insurance subsidy starting in January. (Getty Images)
If you’re among millions of uninsured Californians eligible for government-subsidized insurance, the ripples of health reform start with Monday’s tax deadline.
First, the government will use your return this year as its first yardstick for how much of a subsidy or tax break it contributes to your health coverage next year. And second, if you don’t have health insurance a year from now, a penalty will be added to your federal tax bill.
These are among ways the federal tax code will increasingly be at the forefront of health reform’s implementation. Other provisions are also kicking in as the countdown continues toward full operation of the Affordable Care Act on Jan. 1.
The provision that will provide the biggest boost to taxpayers is the one that offers subsidies for uninsured people who obtain coverage through new insurance exchanges.
“It’s a tremendous deal for the people who are currently uninsured,” said Larry Levitt, senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation. Continue reading