The Department of Revenue is now in the second year of enforcing the individual mandate requirements under health care reform which requires most Massachusetts residents 18 and older to have health insurance.
Similar to last year, Massachusetts taxpayers will be required to file a Schedule HC as part of their tax return indicating whether or not they had health insurance. Taxpayers with access to affordable health insurance are subject to monthly penalties for each month of non-compliance. However, in 2008 there is a grace period permitting lapses in coverage of three consecutive months without penalty. The penalty for 2007 was the loss of a taxpayer’s personal exemption, which amounted to $219 for an individual for those who were not insured on December 31, 2007. The requirement to have health insurance for 2008 was in effect from January 1, 2008 through the end of the year. The penalty also increased, and is up to $76 a month or $912 for the full year for an individual taxpayer, depending on the taxpayer’s age and income.
For the vast majority of adult tax filers with health insurance, filling out Schedule HC is fairly straightforward. To assist taxpayers, insurance carriers will issue a Form MA 1099-HC which will provide the taxpayer with detailed information about their health coverage, Taxpayers will use this form to complete Schedule HC. Insurance carriers had until Feb. 2 to get those forms in the mail to taxpayers. Insurance carriers will also send the same information electronically to DOR for verification purposes.
Navjeet K. Bal
Commissioner, Department of Revenue
This program aired on February 5, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.