Military Benefits

Important tax document to watch for

Yesterday was the first day you could file your tax return for the 2015 tax year. As you gather paperwork for filing your taxes, make sure you watch for one important new document this year — form 1095.

The 1095 shows what type of health care coverage you had for the calendar year, and whether it meets the requirement for minimum essential coverage under the Affordable Care Act. That information must be included on your tax return.

Check your mail carefully."It’s significant because they’ve never seen the form before and might wonder what it is," said Army Lt. Col. Samuel Kan, executive director of the Armed Forces Tax Council. Like W-2 forms, these documents need to be treated with importance.

Kan said law requires a hard copy of the form to be mailed from employers to employees, unless the employee opts for an electronic copy. The Defense Finance and Accounting Service and others have been putting the word out to encourage military members and retirees to use the electronic version, he said. According to the schedule on the DFAS website, the 1095 forms for service members and retirees are available starting Tuesday on their myPay accounts for those who have opted for electronic delivery. Otherwise, the forms will be mailed between Jan. 10 and Jan. 31.

Service members will generally receive a 1095-C, Kan said. Most service members and their dependent family members were covered by qualifying minimum essential health coverage for the entire year, he said. Retirees will get form 1095-B.

Some people may get more than one 1095 form, if they changed jobs. For example, those who entered the military during 2015, or retired or separated from the military in 2015, will get 1095 forms from each of their employers.

Those who don't have minimum essential coverage and don't qualify for an exemption may have to pay a fee.

According to the Tricare website, you have minimum essential coverage if you use any of the following plans:

  • Tricare Prime
  • Tricare Prime Remote
  • Tricare Prime Overseas
  • Tricare Prime Remote Overseas
  • Tricare Standard and Extra
  • Tricare Standard Overseas
  • Tricare For Life
  • Tricare Reserve Select (if purchased, see below)
  • Tricare  Retired Reserve (if purchased, see below)
  • Tricare Young Adult (if purchased, see below)
  • US Family Health Plan
  • Transitional Assistance Management Program (transitional)
  • Continued Health Care Benefit Program
Recommended for you
Around The Web