Dear Tom and Alan:
My CPA tells me I need a form 1095-A to complete some tax stuff he’s doing for me. I’m pushing 60, still working and on Covered California because I don’t make a lot of money.
Anyway, where do I get this form?
Tom: Form 1095-A is an annual summary of how many months you were on Covered California, how much you paid in monthly premiums and how much premium assistance (your subsidy) was paid.
As you know, the amount of subsidy you receive depends on your income. The Advanced Premium Tax Credit (APTC) is the payment the government makes to the insurance company to lower the cost of coverage. You can wait until you file your tax return and take all of it, take part of it each month, or take the entire amount each month.
Al: Most people take the full subsidy each month. For example, I met with a young couple who would be paying $2 per month in premium while receiving $557 per month in APTC. Of course, they’re not going to wait until next April!
Tom: There are some strings attached. If you receive the APTC, you must use the IRS form 1040, 1040A, or 1040NR…you can’t use 1040EZ. Form 1095-A is used to complete Form 8962, which must be included with your return.
Probably the main requirement of Covered California is that you keep them advised as to any changes to your status, in particular, your income.
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Al: If your household income on your tax return is lower than what was on your original application with Covered California, you could very well get a credit or a refund when you file.
On the other hand, if your income is higher on your return than what was on your application, you may have to pay back all or part of your APTC.
To change the amount of premium assistance at any time, Covered California recommends calling 1-800-300-1506. They will need your case number, but I wouldn’t advise calling them right now because we’ve just started open enrollment and the wait can be long.
Tom: Now to finally answer Fred’s question, here’s how to get Form 1095-A: if you went through a Certified Insurance Agent or a Community Enrollment Partner, have them do it.
If you go online and do it yourself, here’s how. Sign in to your account, go to “view past applications,” go to “documents and correspondence,” select “view,” and then print it out.
This will give you the names of the enrollees, how many months and, of course the premium and APTC information.
Al: No one asked, but there is also a Form 1095-B for households getting insurance through Medi-Cal, Medicare, VA, small employers, or health insurance companies outside of Covered California.
Finally, there is a Form 1095-C for those getting coverage through a large employer (usually more than 50 employees, sometimes more than 100).