Tax Season – How to file as a member of The Health Co-Op
It’s that time of the year again – time to file your 2016 taxes!
Whether you complete your taxes online or with paper, remember that, as Health Co-Op members, we are members of a faith-based health care solution, Samaritan Ministries, that satisfies the Individual Mandate within the Affordable Care Act and are therefore not subject to the “tax” penalty imposed for not having health insurance.
According to the Samaritan Ministries site, you will prove your qualification for this exemption for 2016 either by completing the health insurance questions in your tax software or by including IRS Form 8965 when you file your 2016 federal income taxes by mail. If you are not required to file a tax return, you do not need to do anything to prove your exemption.
“I was hesitant this year to file my taxes with this being my first year as a member of The Health Co-Op and the penalty tax. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the option to mark Health Care Sharing Ministry as on option for exemption on Turbo Tax, making the process simple. This was my first year filing with the exemption and was put at ease for how uncomplicated it was!”
Following these simple steps below will save you when you finally push submit.
If you file your taxes online, it’s as easy as 1, 2!
When the tax preparation software asks you whether you had health insurance coverage in 2016, most members will say that they did not, since Samaritan Ministries is not health insurance. If you were a member of Samaritan Ministries for only part of 2016, the software should lead you through a couple additional questions to determine your eligibility for the exemption.
The software will then inquire regarding what situation exempts you from having health insurance. Simply select that you were a member of a Health Care Sharing Ministry (be sure to claim the exemption for each Samaritan member of your household) and proceed with completing the remainder of your tax return.
You will not need to prove your membership, nor will you need an Exemption Certificate Number to claim your exemption.
For those who prefer pen and paper, you will need IRS Form 8965. This form can be downloaded from Samaritan Ministries. This form allows you to prove your qualification for the exemption for 2016 and is is easy to navigate. The Samaritan Ministries site has full instructions for completing this form.
So as you get ready to file your taxes, know that there are helpful tools out there and filing for the Health Care Exemption is easier than ever. Have questions? The Health Co-Op team is here to help you! Contact us anytime.