• You may receive a tax form related to your Medicare coverage.
  • The 1095-B Qualifying Health Coverage Notice should be kept for your records.
  • This form contains important information but requires no action on your part.

It’s early January, and your tax forms from the previous year are starting to roll in. But among the standard income statements and documentation for deductions, you may also receive a form that deals with health insurance coverage.

This form isn’t specific to Medicare plans, but you may continue to receive it once you move from a private health plan to Medicare. Here’s what you need to know about the 1095-B form.

The 1095-B Qualifying Health Coverage Notice is a tax form that was developed in response to a provision of the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA was phased in over several years, and in 2014, everyone was required to have health insurance through the individual mandate provision.

If you had Medicare Part A or Medicare Part C, you met the individual mandate. If you didn’t have health insurance coverage, though, you were subject to a penalty fee, which was calculated as a percentage of your income.

In 2019, the U.S. Department of Justice and federal appeals courts ruled that the individual mandate was unconstitutional. As a result, the penalty was abandoned starting with the 2019 tax filing year. The minimal essential coverage requirement, which set a standard for what health plans had to cover, was also abandoned – as was the penalty for not meeting this requirement was.

The end of the Affordable Care Act?

The decision to end individual mandate and minimal essential coverage requirements and their penalties raised questions about whether the entire ACA should be overturned. A decision on that question is due later in 2020.

For now, these forms are still sent out for information purposes, but there is no action needed or penalty associated with them.

Healthline

When it mails

The 1095-B is mailed between Dec. and March 2.

What it says

The form outlines what form of health coverage you have and reports it to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Why it’s used

The IRS used to charge a penalty if you didn’t have health insurance coverage, or if your coverage didn’t meet the minimum standards.

How it relates to Medicare

Medicare Part A and Medicare Part C were considered minimum essential coverage under the ACA. If you have one of these plans, the form was sent to prove compliance with the individual mandate and minimal essential coverage requirements.

Other reasons you’d get one

You may also receive a 1095-B if you had health coverage through an employer or other source at some point during the past year.

Although you may continue to receive the 1095-B form, the good news is there’s nothing you need to do about it. You don’t have to fill anything out or send the form anywhere. Just file it with your other tax documents.

Receiving multiple forms can get confusing, and they generally look alike. The 1095-B is an explanation of the healthcare coverage you had for the previous year. It is not the same as your benefit statement from Social Security.

Details of the annual benefit statement

When it mails

The annual benefit statement from the Social Security Administration is form SSA-1099/1042S. It is mailed to beneficiaries every January.

What it says

This form outlines the benefits you received from Social Security during the previous year.

How it’s used

The form provides information on the amount of Social Security income you received, which you’ll report to the IRS when you file your tax return.

How it relates to Medicare

This form has little to do with your healthcare or Medicare benefits. However, the information may be used to determine income-based eligibility for some Medicare programs.

Tip

If you did not receive this form, you can request a replacement online starting Feb. 1, by calling 800-772-1213, or by contacting your local Social Security Office.

  • Tax forms flood in at the start of each year.
  • Some outline important income information, like your annual benefit statement from Social Security.
  • Others, like the 1095-B Qualifying Health Coverage Notice, are now for reference purposes only.
  • If you receive a 1095-B form, file it with your other tax forms and save it. You don’t need to send the information anywhere or take any other action.