Action needed: 2015 income tax filing for health care coverage

Tax season is almost here, and there are a few important things to remember regarding filing your return. In 2010, President Barack Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. TRICARE coverage meets the minimum essential coverage, but here are a few things you should know to make sure you and your family report this coverage correctly.

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Ensuring coverage for tax season

Tax season is almost here, and there are a few important things to remember regarding filing your return.

In 2010, President Barack Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. TRICARE coverage meets the minimum essential coverage, but here are a few things you should know to make sure you and your family report this coverage correctly.

On or before 31 January 2016, Pay and Personnel Center will provide the Internal Revenue Service Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage Insurance, Form 1095-C, to all Coast Guard military members and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA, uniformed personnel, and Health Coverage, IRS Form 1095-B, to all Coast Guard, NOAA, and Public Health Service Retirees, Annuitants, former spouses, and all other individuals having TRICARE coverage during all or any portion of tax year 2015. Service members and retirees will also be able to download their ACA forms from Direct Access by the end of January 2016.

The IRS Form 1095 documents that you (and your family members, if applicable) have the minimum essential coverage required by law. These forms will document the information that PPC will provide to the IRS about you and your family member’s health care. The forms will be required to be reported with your 2015 federal tax return.

In order for the TRICARE information to be reflected correctly, the social security numbers of all Coast Guard members and their families must be accurate in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System, or DEERS.

Failing to ensure family members are accurately enrolled in DEERS can affect a myriad of military benefits, including health care, and now, income tax reporting.

In September 2015, PPC conducted an audit of DEERS and notified military members who were missing SSNs within the system.

To ensure you and your family members are properly prepared for income tax season, please take a moment to ensure all your information, and information for your dependents, is accurately reflected in DEERS.

If you are unsure of the accuracy of your SSN within DEERS, or those of your dependents, please contact your Coast Guard Servicing Personnel Office or any DEERS processing center. You can find the nearest DEERS processing center (RAPIDS Site) at this website.

The only method available for members to update their SSNs in DEERS is to visit a DEERS processing center (in person) and present appropriate documentation for themselves and/or their dependents. SSNs cannot be updated over the phone, online through Direct Access, or via milConnect.

For more information, contact Coast Guard PPC or visit their FAQs about income tax filing requirements.

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