Affordable Care Act mandates reporting minimum essential health care coverage

WASHINGTON, Jan. 5, 2017 — As tax season approaches, Defense Department civilians, military members, nonappropriated funds employees and their families will need to validate their minimum essential health care coverage as reported to the Internal Revenue Service, the Pentagon’s top health official said in a phone interview Dec. 23, 2016.

Dr. Karen S. Guice, the principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, performing duties as assistant secretary for health affairs, said the Affordable Care Act, which became law in 2010, extends the availability of health care insurance to ensure people are covered through health insurance market places or employers. The Supreme Court upheld the law after it was challenged in 2012, she added.

“The relevance to us is the requirement to repor t minimal essential coverage to the IRS,” Guice said. “It’s important for us to review all of the rules as we move into tax season.” 

Guice explained that DoD members and employees will receive a Form 1095, designated B or C. Service members and DoD civilians will use the 1095-B or 1095-C to answer health coverage questions on their federal tax returns. These forms are used for TRICARE, the continued health care benefit program, and the federal employee health benefits plans.

“Any one of our DoD families, active duty military, retirees, civilians or contractors may see a mixture of these, depending on how the people in their household are covered by health insurance,” Guice said. “It’s a way for individuals in the household who are covered by insurance to validate the information and correct erroneous information through the entity that sends the 1095 form.

Guice emphasized that the 1095 form is not intended to be filed with taxes, but rather is used as a validation of information that the IRS already has received from DoD. “It’s really important for everyone 

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