File a 2014 tax return or miss out on 2016 assistance

Tax deadline 10/15

Marylanders who enrolled in health coverage through Maryland Health Connection for 2014 and received a tax credit must file their 2014 tax return to remain eligible for financial assistance for 2016.

They should file by October 15 to prevent delays in getting these savings next year.

Anyone who received financial assistance for their health plan in 2014 (in the form of a tax credit or cost-sharing reduction), must file their 2014 tax return and include Form 8962 to remain eligible for financial assistance in 2016. This is a requirement under the Affordable Care Act.

If they fail to complete the tax-filing process, they will be responsible for the full cost of their health insurance premiums and all covered services. In addition, the Internal Revenue Service may contact them to pay back some or all of the tax credits received in 2014.

Marylanders who received an extension to file until Oct. 15 should file their 2014 federal tax return with Form 8962 electronically as soon as possible. The cutoff date is Dec. 31, but waiting until this date may mean a delay in having tax information updated and will require tax filing by paper.

Tax credits help make health insurance more affordable. The Maryland Health Benefit Exchange wants to ensure that everyone who qualifies for a tax credit can get one. The average Maryland household enrolled in a plan through the state health insurance marketplace will receive on average $3,000 a year in tax credits to make health coverage more affordable.

(People who had health coverage from another source, such as through their employer, or Medicare, Medicaid or a plan bought outside Maryland Health Connection would have used a different tax-filing process and do not need to file Form 8962 with their taxes.)

Key points on 2014 taxes and Maryland Health Connection coverage:

  • People who bought plans through Maryland Health Connection in 2014 should have received Form 1095-A in the mail. They should have used this form to complete the 2014 federal tax return (including Form 8962 to figure out the final amount of tax credit).
  • Enrollees who can’t find or never received a 1095-A form should contact 1-855-642-8572 for help.
  • Contact an IRS local office in Maryland for information and help with filing the 2014 federal tax return, including Form 8962. People can also file a federal return for free by using Free File through Oct. 15.