Department of Employee Trust Funds
February 11, 2015
Health Plans are Minimum Essential Coverage for IRS 1040
The consulting actuary to the Group Insurance Board has stated that all group health insurance plans offered to employees and early retirees (non-Medicare) of the State of Wisconsin Group Health Insurance Program (including participating Wisconsin Public Employer) are considered “Minimum Essential Coverage”.
This is important news for participants who file 2014 income taxes using Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 1040. The form includes a line item called “Health Care: Individual Responsibility”. Per the 1040 instructions, filers should check the box associated with this line item and leave the entry space blank, “if you had qualifying health care coverage (called minimum essential coverage) for every month of 2014 for yourself, your spouse (if filing jointly), and anyone you could or did claim as a dependent.”
Therefore, if you are an employee or a pre-Medicare retiree and you had coverage through the State or WPE group health insurance programs for every month of 2014, you may check the box that you had Minimum Essential Coverage and leave the entry space blank.
In addition, the instructions for Form 1040 state that Medicare is Essential Health Coverage. If you are an annuitant with Medicare Parts A and B coverage in addition to the State or WPE group health insurance coverage, note that you answer this question based on your Medicare coverage.