WASHINGTON, Feb. 3, 2016 —
Defense Department civilian and military personnel will begin receiving Internal Revenue Service Form 1095 to help them complete health coverage questions on their 2015 federal tax returns, DoD’s principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for health affairs recently told DoD News.
While taxpayers self-attested their health coverage to the IRS in 2015 as part of the Affordable Care Act, Dr. Karen Guice said, this is the first year DoD is responsible for notifying the IRS of its military and civilian employees’ health care insurance participation through Form 1095.
“DoD has done a really good job coordinating all of this with the IRS,” Guice said.
DoD will make sure its military members and civilians receive physical forms beginning Jan. 31, she said, and the form already is available via MyPay for those who receive their tax forms electronically.
What to Expect
Service members will receive an IRS Form 1095-B or 1095-C for their TRICARE coverage. Military retirees and annuitants will get Form 1095-B. DoD civilians will receive a Form 1095-C from their Pay Center and a 1095-B from their Federal Employee Health Benefit carrier if they purchased FEHBP coverage during 2015.
It’s expected Continued Health Care Benefit Program enrollees will receive their 1095-B forms from Humana, Guice said. Additionally, DoD employees who use their spouse’s nongovernment health insurance coverage should check with their spouse’s health insurance carrier about receiving their 1095, she added.
Check 1095 for Accuracy
Taxpayers should review their 1095 forms for accuracy before filing their federal taxes, Guice said. Any incorrect information for filers and their family members, such as home addresses and Social Security numbers, should be reported to MyPay, the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, personnel offices and the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System. She stressed the 1095 forms are not filed with a federal tax return, but taxpayers should keep any 1095 forms with their personal federal tax records.
Why Form 1095 is Important
The Affordable Care Act mandates that all Americans must have access to basic health insurance. TRICARE and all plans offered by the FEHB program meet the ACA standards for minimum essential coverage, Guice noted. And because coverage compliance is reported to the IRS, noncompliance can result in IRS penalties.
“We don’t want people caught in the penalty phase,” Guice said. “We want to avoid that at all costs.”
For Those Who Lose TRICARE or FEHB Coverage
In the upcoming year, people should keep in mind they can sign up for coverage any time they have life-changing event, such as a marriage, birth of a baby or a change in employment and other events, Guice said.
Service members who plan to separate from the military in the next year – but not retire – will be responsible for signing up for coverage, she said, particularly if their new employer does not offer health care insurance. She encouraged those who lose TRICARE or FEHBP coverage to evaluate their post-DoD health care options via www.healthcare.gov.
(Follow Terri Moon Cronk on Twitter: @MoonCronkDoD)