Michelle Andrews ---- The Daily Signal
In addition to the normal thrills and chills of the income tax filing season, this year consumers will 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.
But for others, here are several situations to keep in mind.
If you were uninsured for some or all of the year
If you had health insurance for only part of 2014 or didn’t have coverage at all, it’s a bit more complicated. In that case, you’ll have to file Form 8965, which allows you to claim an exemption from the requirement to have insurance or calculate your penalty for the months that you weren’t covered.
On page 2 of the instructions for Form 8965 you’ll see a lengthy list of the coverage exemptions for which you may qualify. If your income is below the filing threshold ($10,150 for an individual in 2014), for example, you’re exempt. Likewise if coverage was unaffordable because it would have cost more than 8 percent of your household income, or you experienced a hardship that prevented you from buying a marketplace plan, or you had a short coverage gap of less than three consecutive months. These are just some of the circumstances that would allow you to avoid the penalty.