CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (January 14, 2016) – TaxAct®, the leading provider of affordable digital and download tax preparation solutions, today announces its partnership with Chicago-based ConnectedHealth, an award-winning private insurance exchange, to help consumers nationwide enroll in health insurance and meet ongoing Affordable Care Act (ACA) and related tax requirements.
Through a co-branded version of ConnectedHealth’s leading benefits platform, the ConnectedHealth Marketplace, TaxAct customers can better understand their health insurance options, select the right plan for themselves and their families, enroll online and identify related tax credits from the government for which they may be eligible. In addition, TaxAct business owners who don’t currently offer employee health insurance or may be transitioning from small group coverage, can now offer their workforce access to individual health plans – both on and off the public exchange – using the new marketplace.
As 2016 changes to the ACA take effect, TaxAct is ready to help consumers and small business owners navigate the related tax implications, stay abreast of applicable penalties and adhere to new reporting requirements. The current ACA open enrollment period closes on Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016, giving taxpayers a little more than two weeks to sign up for 2016 coverage. Filers who need coverage beginning Feb. 1, 2016 must submit their application for enrollment by Friday, January 15, 2016.
“From selecting the right plan to understanding how the recently-updated ACA tax laws impact individual filers, health insurance remains a top concern for taxpayers nationwide,” said JoAnn Kintzel, TaxAct president. “Teaming up with ConnectedHealth offers an innovative way to help our customers get the coverage they need and assist them in understanding the implications of the ACA – and specifically the individual coverage mandate – as it relates to their personal and financial situations.”
“Partnering with TaxAct is a great fit for us,” said Joe Donlan, president of ConnectedHealth. “We know from our own survey findings that a majority of Americans find that selecting a health plan is more complicated than solving a Rubik’s Cube®. Together with TaxAct, we have an exciting opportunity to provide the tools consumers need to make the best decisions for their families regarding their health coverage, helping them achieve better health and financial security for the long term.”
Steering Taxpayers through ACA Changes
Individuals who can afford health insurance but elect not to buy it may face even greater penalties in 2016 than they will on 2015 returns. The fee for not having coverage this year is $695 (and a maximum $2,085 per family) or 2.5 percent of yearly household income, whichever is higher. These are significant increases from 2015 penalties, which are less than half the amounts that will be assessed for 2016.
In addition to penalty increases for individuals without health insurance, there are also new rules related to employer-required coverage.
- The ACA’s employer mandate requires businesses with at least 50 full-time employees or full-time equivalents to provide health coverage for employees.
- Small business owners must comply with the ACA reporting requirements—including filing form 1095-C—or they will face financial penalties.
- Form 1095-B, filed by insurers for employers who offer health insurance outside of marketplace plans, and 1095-C, filed by employers, report details about whether individuals and members of their household met coverage requirements established by the ACA for the prior year. The forms became mandatory in tax year 2015.
How TaxAct and ConnectedHealth Can Help
TaxAct can help taxpayers estimate their 2016 income now so they can enter the information when shopping for health insurance through the ConnectedHealth platform. The Marketplace uses the estimated 2016 income to determine taxpayers’ eligibility for the Advance Premium Tax Credit (APTC), which lowers the cost of health insurance. Taxpayers can apply for a premium tax credit through the ConnectedHealth Marketplace and enroll in their coverage online.
Accessible to TaxAct users through HealthcareAct.com, the benefits shopping platform also helps taxpayers round out their financial protection with ancillary coverage, including dental and vision insurance, from a wide range of national and regional carriers.
TaxAct provides the best deal in tax so individuals, business owners and tax professionals can save money on tax preparation. A leading provider of affordable digital and download tax software, the company’s mission is to empower people to navigate the complexities of tax and finance with ease and accuracy at a fair price. TaxAct has long-offered a Price Lock Guarantee on its products, ensuring its customers pay the price listed for their selected product at the time they started their return, no matter when they file. TaxAct was one of the top three visited online tax preparation destinations last tax season and has assisted with approximately 60 million e-filed federal returns since 2000. To learn more about TaxAct, a business of Blucora, Inc. (NASDAQ: BCOR), visit TaxAct.com or connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
ConnectedHealth makes it easy for employees to shop for personalized insurance benefits online. Founded by the pioneers in consumer healthcare transparency, the company’s award-winning e-commerce platform helps businesses control costs and supports their entire workforce in protecting their health and financial security. Learn how ConnectedHealth is reimagining the way employers deliver group and individual benefit strategies at www.ConnectedHealth.com or on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
TaxAct Public Relations
Pavone for ConnectedHealth
 According to collective week end reports for taxact.com released by Compete Inc.