Monday, September 19, 2016

Understanding ACA Form 1095-B

When we talk about the information returns associated with Affordable Care Act, we tend to get hung up on Form 1095-C. It makes sense: Form 1095-C is the form Applicable Large Employers file and they’re the “insurance providers” going through the most changes thanks to the ACA. (And “most change” tends to mean “most attention.”)

That’s why we’re taking this post to talk exclusively about Form 1095-B!

Purpose of the Form
Form 1095-B, Health Coverage, is used to report information to the IRS and taxpayers about the minimum essential coverage of health insurance provided by the filer.

And in case you need a reminder: minimum essential coverage (or MEC) is the least amount of coverage legally required for taxpayers to have each year. While it’s the individual taxpayer’s responsibility to make sure they have coverage that meets MEC, it’s also the responsibility of insurance providers to offer MEC plans as set by the ACA.

Who Needs to File Form 1095-B
Generally, every person that provides MEC to individuals during the calendar year must file Form 1095-B to report the coverage. This does exclude certain employers (ALEs) and government employers who are subject to the employer shared responsibility provisions and therefore must file Form 1095-C.

In other words, health insurance issuers and carriers for most health insurance coverage, including individual market coverage and insured coverage sponsored by employers, as well as small employers need to file Form 1095-B for each covered individual each year.

When to File
If you need to file Form 1095-B with the IRS, you must do so at the beginning of the year following the year you offered coverage. And how you plan to file determines when you’ll need to file.

If you’re sending in paper copies to the IRS, you must submit Form 1095-B, along with its transmittal form, Form 1094-B, by February 28 (or 29). If you plan to e-file, you have until March 31. Keep in mind that if your due date ends up falling on a weekend or legal holiday, the deadline is automatically extended to the next business day.

And speaking of “automatically extended,” you can get an automatic 30-day extension of time to file your 1095-B forms if you file Form 8809 with the IRS by your original deadline.

And How to File
The more traditional way to file your ACA return is to mail it in each year. While the IRS recommends everyone e-file, you really only have to if you have more than 250 forms to file. So if you’re planning for traditional, mail Form 1094-B and your 1095-B forms by your deadline to:
  • Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service Center, Austin, TX 73301
    • If your principal business is in: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, or West Virginia
  • Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service Center, Kansas City, MO 64999
    • If your principal business is in: Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, Washington, D.C., Wisconsin, or Wyoming

Of course, if you’re looking for a faster, easier, more secure way to file, then you should e-file with ExpressACAForms! With ExpressACAForms, you don’t have to fill out each individual form by hand before mailing it in, which can leave you susceptible to human error and at the mercy of the postal system. Instead, just upload the the ACA information you have using our bulk upload spreadsheet or one of your own, review the forms our program creates for you, and securely e-file them directly with the IRS.

If you have any other questions regarding Form 1095-B or e-filing your ACA return, give us a call! We’re always happy to help. We’re available at (704) 839-2270 and through live chat on our website Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m ET and we offer 24/7 customer assistance via email at!

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