Once again, you’re sending 1095 forms to employees as required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Once again, employees will have 1095 form questions. They might be especially confused this year because the federal penalty for individuals who do not have minimum essential health coverage was effectively eliminated starting January 1, 2019.
Although some employers hoped they would no longer have to furnish Form 1095 to employees in 2020, it is now clear that most applicable large employers do still need to file and furnish these forms.
Here are some questions employees might ask in 2020 along with sample answers. You can modify and distribute these Q&As as you find appropriate.
Employee Questions in 2020 About the 1095 Form
1. What is the 1095 form?
The IRS 1095 form shows whether your employer offered you affordable health care coverage of minimum value during the past year. It also reports whether you and your family members actually had health coverage through your employer for each month of the past year. Your employer or health insurance company sends one copy of the 1095 to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and one copy to you.
2. When should I expect to receive it?
You should receive it by March 2, 2020. Your employer or health insurance company should provide one to you either by mail or in person. They may send the form to you electronically if you gave them permission to do so.
3. What am I supposed to do with this form?
You do not need to do anything with the form. You won’t need it for your federal taxes. Starting January 1, 2019, there is no longer a federal penalty for not having health insurance coverage. What you do with this form is up to you.
4. What if I live in a state or jurisdiction that requires me to have health coverage?
You might want to hang on to the form if you live in a state or jurisdiction that requires you to have health coverage even if the federal government does not. According to a KFF article published July 17, 2019, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Washington, D.C. required individuals to have health coverage in 2019. California, Vermont and Rhode Island will join them in 2020. This year’s 1095 could help prove to your state or jurisdiction that you had health coverage in 2019.
[Related Reading: 9 Questions Parents Are Asking About the Age 26 Mandate]
5. Will I get this form again next year?
Possibly. It depends on whether the federal government will require employers to report health coverage for 2020.
6. I heard the ACA was overturned in federal court. Does that mean it has gone away?
No. Federal court cases determining the fate of the ACA are in progress.
7. I have more questions about my 1095 form. Who do I contact?
Please contact _____ at ____. These IRS websites might also help:
- Affordable Care Act Tax Provisions for Individuals and Families
- Affordable Care Act – What to expect when filing your tax return
Developed by International Foundation Information Center staff. This does not constitute legal advice. Please consult your plan professionals for legal advice.
[Related Reading: Yes, Employers Still Need to File Forms 1094 and 1095]
Lois Gleason, CEBS
E-Learning/Online Course Instructional Designer at the International Foundation
The latest from Word on Benefits:
- Finally—Additional Relief for Dependent Care Assistance Programs Due to COVID-19
- Can Canadian Employers Require Employees to Join a Group Benefit Plan?
- Three Important Steps on Your Diversity and Inclusion Journey
- The State of Multiemployer Health Plans: 10 Takeaways
- “What Is an Apprenticeship Agreement?” and Other Questions for Your Plan