What Is Form 1095-B: Health Coverage?

Form 1095-B is an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) form that may be sent to taxpayers who receive minimum essential health insurance coverage as defined by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). A 1095-B form shows information such as the effective dates of the coverage, the individuals covered, and the coverage provider. 

Key Takeaways

  • Form 1095-B is an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) form that may be sent to taxpayers who receive minimum essential health insurance coverage as defined by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
  • Recipients of Form 1095-B are, in general, self-employed individuals, those working for companies with under 50 employees, or those who have health insurance in addition to that which is provided by their employers.
  • Providers of 1095-B forms are, in general, usually insurers or small employers.
  • Recipients of Form 1095-B do not have to submit the form itself; they simply tick off a box on their returns, indicating how long they had health insurance coverage throughout the tax year.
  • For the tax year 2019, the IRS has acknowledged that the provider’s obligation to supply 1095-B forms is not an enforcement priority. 

How Form 1095-B Works

Providers of 1095-B forms are, in general, usually insurers or small employers. Recipients of Form 1095-B are, in general, self-employed individuals, those working for companies with under 50 employees, or those who have health insurance in addition to that provided by their employers. 

Under the original rules of the ACA, taxpayers were required to have minimum essential health insurance coverage for each month of the year (or have a coverage exemption). Prior to the 2019 plan year (for which you file taxes in 2020), if you or your family members didn’t have one or the other, you may have had to pay a penalty called a shared responsibility payment (also sometimes referred to as the Individual Mandate penalty). As part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the penalty for not having health insurance was eliminated. This also means that an exemption is no longer required.

In addition, for the tax year 2019, the IRS has acknowledged that the provider’s obligation to supply 1095-B forms is not an enforcement priority. If providers comply with two conditions the IRS has set forth, they will not be penalized. These are the two conditions: first, the provider’s website contains a notice that Form 1095-B is available to participants upon request and includes specific information on how to request it, and second, the provider must then furnish Form 1095-B within 30 days of a request.

Most health insurance plans provided by an employer qualify as minimum essential coverage. Other qualifying plans include government-sponsored programs, like Medicare and most Medicaid plans.

While the information on a 1095-B form may assist in preparing a tax return, it is not required.

Form 1095-B vs. Form 1095-A vs. Form 1095-C

Health insurance providers send Form 1095-B to individuals for whom they provide minimum essential coverage. Form 1095-B provides information about who was covered and when. You will receive Form 1095-A: Health Insurance Marketplace Statement if you enrolled in a qualified health plan via the health insurance marketplace. If you received or were offered healthcare from an employer who has 50 or more employees, you may receive 1095-C: Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage in addition to, or instead of, a 1095-B form. 

How to File Form 1095-B

Depending on who provided your health insurance coverage, as just noted, you should receive either Form 1095-A, Form 1095-B, or Form 1095-C. You usually have to provide information from these forms, or acknowledge that you have received one of them, on your federal tax return. You do not have to submit the form itself. Taxpayers simply tick off a box on their returns, indicating how long they were covered throughout the tax year.

Form 1095-B

All pages of Form 1095-B are available on the IRS website.