Healthcare reform: What you need to know about the individual mandate

Healthcare reform: What you need to know about the individual mandate

Q: What is the individual mandate?

A: The individual mandate (also called “individual shared responsibility”) is a provision of the federal healthcare law that requires you, your dependent children, and anyone else you claim as a dependent on your federal income taxes to have health insurance or pay a tax penalty. This health insurance must be a certain type of health coverage specified by the federal government as “minimum essential coverage.”

Q: What is minimum essential coverage?

A: Minimum essential coverage is the type of coverage an individual needs to have to meet the individual responsibility requirement under the Affordable Care Act. This includes most employment-based health plans, grandfathered health plans, individual market policies, Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, TRICARE, and certain other coverage. If you and your dependents are covered by a DMBA-sponsored health plan, you will generally meet the federal requirement to have minimum essential coverage.

Q: How do I report my compliance with the individual mandate?

A: You do not have to report your compliance until you file your income tax return. Before the annual tax-filing deadline, DMBA’s participating employers send out to employees, IRS Form 1095, which reports the months an employee was enrolled in the employer’s health plan. Information on this form is reported to the IRS so keep it with your tax records.

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