New Tax Documents (1095-B and 1095-C)

February 2016

To: All Benefits Eligible Employees
From: Heather Faley, Director of Human Resources
Re: New Tax Documents | Form 1095-B (Health Coverage) and Form 1095-C (Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage)

Under the Affordable Care Act (also known as healthcare reform), most Americans are required to have qualifying health coverage—known as ‘minimum essential coverage (MEC)’—or pay a penalty on their income taxes. In addition, employers with at least 50 full-time employees must offer full-time (and part-time benefits-eligible) employees ACA-compliant healthcare coverage or pay a penalty. Bennington College offers ACA-compliant healthcare coverage to our eligible employees.

If you or a family member were enrolled in a health plan offered by Bennington College, you will receive a Form 1095-B (Health Coverage). This form verifies that you (and your spouse/partner and dependents, if applicable) had qualifying health coverage for one or more months during the year. Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Vermont, the College’s medical insurance carrier, is responsible for sending this form to you.

Also as part of the Affordable Care Act, and new this year, employers are required to report select healthcare coverage information to the IRS. The healthcare coverage information will be provided to you on a new tax form—Form 1095-C(Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage). The IRS requires the College to distribute Form 1095-C to all full-time (and part-time benefits-eligible) employees, regardless of whether or not an employee was enrolled in the healthcare coverage offered through Bennington College. You can use Form 1095-C to help you report your insurance coverage when filing your 2015 tax return. Form 1095-C includes information about the health insurance coverage offered to you by the College. If you purchased health insurance coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace (in lieu of participating in the plan offered to you by the College) and wish to claim the premium tax credit, this information will assist you in determining whether you are eligible.

Bennington College will distribute Form 1095-C to all eligible employees by March 31, 2016, the deadline set by the IRS. The IRS realizes that employees will receive W-2s in advance of receiving Form 1095-C and that many may file taxes in advance of the March 31, 2016, distribution date. Our understanding from the IRS is that for 2015 most individuals offered employer-provided coverage will not be affected and tax returns will not need to be amended once employees receive their Form 1095-C. However, we encourage you to consult your tax advisor for specific details and advice. Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Vermont has informed us that they will also be distributing Form 1095-B by the March 31, 2016, deadline.

If you have questions, please contact Nick Gault, Human Resources Generalist,