What Is Form 1095-B: Health Coverage?

Form 1095-B is an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) form sent to taxpayers who receive minimum essential health insurance coverage as defined by the Affordable Care Act. 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 came into being with the Affordable Care Act, which created what's colloquially known as "Obamacare."
  • You do not have to submit the form itself.
  • It is not necessary to wait for a 1095-B form in order to file your taxes.
  • The penalty for not having health insurance was eliminated starting in the 2019 tax year.

What Is Form 1095-B Used For?

Under the original rules of the Affordable Care Act, you 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 might have had to pay a penalty called a shared responsibility payment. As part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the penalty for not having health insurance was eliminated so an exemption is no longer required.

Anyone who provides minimum essential coverage is still required to send a 1095-B form to individuals. Generally, 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 receive a 1095-B form. The form provides information on the type of coverage, the names of those covered, and the months during which coverage was in effect.

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 and other plans.

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

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

Health insurance providers send Form 1095-B to individuals for whom they provide minimum essential coverage, with 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, or exchange. 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.

It is crucial for those participating in health insurance marketplace plans to receive Form 1095-A before they file because these forms report information about tax credits and any advance payments of these credits, which is required to prepare an accurate tax return.

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