IRS Form 1095-AIf you bought health insurance in 2014 through the federal health insurance marketplace (aka, healthcare.gov) AND you collected a subsidy from the government to help you pay for your coverage, then you should have received a tax form 1095-A in the mail during late January or early February, 2015.

IRS Form 1095-A – Health Insurance Marketplace Statement — is new for the 2014 tax season, and provides details of how much you paid in premiums, how much subsidy you received, and information used to calculate how much subsidy you should have received.

Recently, government officials discovered errors in approximately 800,000 1095-A forms.

Corrected forms will be sent in early March.

What Was the Error on Some 1095-A Forms?

Column B in Part III of the 1095-A statement shows, by month, the premium of the second lowest cost silver plan (SLCSP).  SLCSP is used to calculate whether or not you received the right amount of subsidy.

SLCSP is incorrect on some people’s form.

How Will You Know if Your 1095-A is Wrong?

You can sign in to your account on healthcare.gov to find out if your form is affected by the error. Only about 20% of forms contain an error.

What Should You Do if Your 1095-A is Wrong?

If you have already filed your 2014 tax return

The Treasury Department announced that if you already filed your taxes using an incorrect 1095-A, you do not need to refile.  Also, in the event that refiling with the corrected form would result in additional taxes, you will not owe anything more.

However, you may want to refile with the corrected form if the corrected SLCSP is higher than the incorrect SLCSP.  In that case, you may be be entitled to more money back. Most experts recommend if the difference is slight, it may not be worth the time and expense of refiling. Please consult a tax professional for specific advice.

If you have not yet filed your 2014 tax return

Wait to file your return until you have received your corrected form 1095-A.

Corrected forms are expected to be mailed in early March. Your account on healthcare.gov will also be updated once the corrected form is available.

Visit healthcare.gov’s online tool to find your correct SLCSP if you want to file your taxes before your corrected form arrives.

If you have any questions about your health insurance coverage, please don’t hesitate to call us at (703) 707-8270.

For more information about tax filing with the Affordable Care Act, click here.

Please consult a tax professional for specific tax advice.

 

 

Open Door

A qualifying event opens the door to purchase coverage outside of open enrollment.

Open enrollment for 2015 health insurance has ended.  It ran from November 15, 2014 through February 15, 2015.

Outside those dates, you must have a qualifying event in order to be eligible to purchase Affordable Care Act-compliant coverage which is effective in 2015.

NOTE: Anthem has extended its deadline to purchase off-exchange 2015 coverage until February 28.  Click here for more info.

Examples of Qualifying Events

  • Change in marital status (marriage/divorce/death of a spouse)
  • Relocation to a new state
  • Change in family size (birth/adoption/death of a child)
  • Loss of minimum essential health coverage (change in employment status, cancellation of current coverage)
  • Certain changes in income
  • Expiration of COBRA

Qualifying Events Trigger a Special Enrollment Period

A qualifying event triggers a special enrollment period during which you can enroll in a health insurance plan outside of open enrollment.

Most special enrollment periods last 60 days, so be sure to act quickly if you have one of these events.

If You Have a Qualifying Event

If you do have a qualifying event, you must have proof of the event.  When applying for coverage, you will be asked to submit verification of the event and the date it occurred. Without verification, most carriers will not process the application.

If you have a qualifying event and you are eligible for a subsidy (click here to find out), then you must purchase coverage on your state’s health insurance exchange in order to collect the subsidy (healthcare.gov for Virginia residents, marylandhealthconnection.com for Maryland residents, dchealthlink.com for DC residents).

If you are not eligible for a subsidy, you can apply directly with the carrier of your choice:

What if You Don’t Have a Qualifying Event?

Absent a qualifying event, most individuals will not be able to purchase Affordable Care Act (ACA)-compliant health insurance coverage for 2015 after February 15*.  Instead, you will need to wait until next year’s open enrollment to buy coverage effective in 2016.

If you are concerned about being uninsured for the remainder of 2015, you may have an option to purchase a temporary policy as a bridge through the end of the year.

Temporary plans offered outside of a special or open enrollment period will not be ACA-compliant.  One critical missing piece will be coverage for pre-existing conditions; they will not be covered.  But you would be covered for any new illness or injury that arises.  Although not ideal, a temporary plan is better than having no coverage at all.

Here are two companies we work with that offer short term, temporary coverage:

Virginia Medical Plans Can Help

If you have a qualifying event, let us know right away so we can help you find new coverage that will best meet your needs.

Even without a qualifying event, if you do not have health insurance, give us a call.  We may be able to help you at least find a temporary policy to give you peace of mind until 2016.

Give us a call at 703-707-8270.

*Exception — Anthem BC/BS has extended its deadline to purchase off-exchange 2015 plans to February 28, 2015.  Click here for more information.

More time to enroll in 2015 coverageYou’ve just been given a little more time t0 enroll in 2015 health insurance!

Anthem has extended the deadline to enroll in its off-exchange individual health care plans to February 28.

Note: if you are eligible for financial assistance, you must purchase coverage through the exchange in order to collect your subsidy.  The February 15 open enrollment deadline for exchange plans remains unchanged at this time.

Apply for Anthem Coverage

Virginia Medical Plans offers two easy ways to apply for 2015 coverage with Anthem:

1 – Visit the Anthem website and apply online.

2 – Fill out a paper application and fax back to us at 1-888-514-4258.

Although the deadline has been officially extended, we recommend you submit your application as soon as possible to give Anthem plenty of time to process it and send out your ID cards.

Important: Include First Month’s Premium with your Application

It is very important that you include your first month’s premium with your application.  You can pay by credit card or electronic funds transfer (EFT).

  • If you submit your application with payment by February 15, your coverage will be effective March 1, 2015, and you should receive your ID cards by that date.
  • If you submit your application with payment between February 16-28, your coverage will be effective March 1, 2015, but your ID cards may not arrive by that date.
  • If you submit your application without payment between February 16-28, your coverage will be effective April 1, 2015.

Again, please don’t wait until the last minute.  Act now to avoid any last-minute problems.

If we can be of assistance, please call our office at 703-707-8270.

CountdownAlthough time is running out, you CAN still sign up for 2015 health insurance.

Open enrollment ends on February 15, 2015.

This means you can purchase a new individual or family health insurance plan — for any reason — until that date.

Once open enrollment ends, however, you will not be able to purchase 2015 individual or family coverage unless you have a qualifying event.

Get Covered Now!

Having health insurance is mandated by law (The Affordable Care Act).  If you don’t have coverage for more than 3 months in 2015, you will be subject to a penalty tax. You can avoid this penalty by buying coverage.

If you are eligible for a subsidy, you can review your options here:  www.enrollvirginianow.com.

If you are not eligible for a subsidy, you can get instant quotes here:  www.vamedicalplans.com.

We are available to discuss your situation and look forward to helping you find the right coverage for your needs.  Please call our office 703-707-8270 or 1-888-396-2341.

But don’t delay… time is running out.

When Will my Coverage be Effective?

If you enroll between now and February 15, your coverage will begin on March 1, 2015.

Can I Switch Plans During Open Enrollment?

Yes!  If you are currently insured, but would like to change your plan, you may do so for any reason during open enrollment.

Deductible Will Reset

But there is an important caveat to switching plans between now and February 15.

All Affordable Care Act-compliant individual or family health insurance plans (vs. employer-sponsored coverage) run on a calendar year basis: from January 1 to December 31.

If you are currently covered by a plan and switch to a new one effective March 1, your deductible will reset when you enroll in new coverage.  Any medical bills you incurred before switching plans will not count toward your new plan’s deductible.

Questions? Get in touch with us today — 703-707-8270!