Tax exemption available for American Indians

Geneva HorseChief-HamiltonOsage Nations Communications
Tax exemption available for American Indians

Native Americans who did not have health insurance during 2014 can file for an exemption from the Internal Revenue Service’s new “individual shared responsibility payment.”

Persons who had private insurance, Medicare or Medicaid in 2014 do not need to worry about the “shared responsibility” cost. However, Native Americans who rely on Indian Health Services for a majority of their urgent-care needs and well-child checkups need to include a form in their filings to avoid paying up to $95 per person — which, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Services, is the national-average premium for minimal coverage.

There are three ways to apply for the exemption. First, the Indian Health Services Affordable Care Act Exemption Form can be completed and submitted to an IHS facility, along with a copy of a CDIB. (It should only take about a week to receive the IHS exemption eligibility letter.)

To receive the Health Insurance Marketplace Application for Exemption for American Indians and Alaska Natives and other Individuals who are Eligible to Receive Services from an Indian Health Care Provider, a CDIB or tribal membership will be needed, along with Social Security number and household information.

The easiest way to provide eligibility requirements is by filling out IRS Form 8965. Applicants will need a CDIB or tribal membership in order to complete Section three by using Code C. Companies like H&R Block and Jackson Hewitt are already versed in using the form, but you will still need a copy of your CDIB.

Applications for the exemption can be obtained through Osage Nation Constituent Services and from local IHS offices. Information about the exemption also is available online.

“The exemption application is provided on our (Constituent Services) website,” said Jacque Jones, Coordinator for ON Constituent Services.

HealthCare.gov reports indicate the shared responsibility cost will continue to increase: “(T)he penalty increases every year. In 2016, it’s 2.5 percent of income or $695 per person after that it is adjusted for inflation.”

The Osage Nation Constituent Services web page can be found at: osagenation-nsn.gov/what-we-do/constituent-services. More information can be obtained by calling 918/287-5662, or, via email, at constituentservices@osagenation-nsn.gov

To learn more about the Affordable Care Act and how to qualify for exemptions, or to learn more about health insurance coverage in 2015, go online at: www.healthcare.gov/exemptions/ or telephone the following number: 800-318-2596.