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Massachusetts Health Insurance Requirements

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Schedule HC and Form 1099-HC
Massachusetts Health Care Information Reporting Requirements

NOTE: Glossary words are highlighted. Click on any glossary word to see its definition.

What is Schedule HC?

Schedule HC is the Health Care Information section of the Massachusetts personal income tax return. You must include Schedule HC when you file Form 1 if you are a full-year resident of the state, and in some cases if you are a part-year resident.

Information that you report on Schedule HC lets the state know if you have met the minimum basic health care insurance requirements of the Massachusetts Health Care Reform Law. These basic benefits are known as Minimum Creditable Coverage (MCC). Taxpayers who do not meet the MCC requirements may face a tax penalty.

If you have met the MCC requirements, you use Schedule HC to report your health care coverage information. If you have not met the requirements, you use Schedule HC to report that you owe a penalty, to request an exemption, or to file an appeal.

What information do I report on Schedule HC?

Health care information* that you report on Schedule HC includes:

  • the time period you were enrolled in an MCC health plan during the year
    (full-year, part-year, or none)
  • the name of your MCC health insurance plan(s) if you had coverage
  • which months you were enrolled, if not full-year
    (you do not have to pay a penalty unless you had four or more months in a row when you did not have MCC coverage)

*If you have an employee or private health care plan, your health insurance company will send you this information on Form 1099-HC.

Other information that you report on Schedule HC includes:

  • income
    (if your income was at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Level, you do not have to pay a penalty)
  • whether you received medical care during the year
    (if you are claiming a religious exemption) 
  • whether you have already received a Certificate of Exemption from the Commonwealth Connector Authority
  • whether an affordable MCC health plan was available to you
    (if an affordable plan was not available, you do not have to pay a penalty)

See Schedule HC 2012 for details.

The Schedule HC 2012 Instructions include several worksheets to help you figure out if you qualify for an income exemption or an affordability exemption, or to calculate your penalty if you are not exempt.

For more information about penalties, see How much is the penalty? and How do I avoid a penalty?

If the information you report on Schedule HC shows that you owe a penalty, you can file an appeal. There is a space on Schedule HC to indicate that you want to file an appeal. The Commonwealth Connector will follow up with a letter asking you for the reason you believe you should not have to pay a penalty and documentation.

Where can I get Schedule HC?

If you complete your Massachusetts state income tax return using an online program or software on your computer, Schedule HC will be included. A free online program that you can use to file your state tax return is WebFile from the Massachusetts Department of Revenue:

If you file a paper form (hard copy) of your tax return, you can download and print a copy of Schedule HC from the Department of Revenue web site:

What is Form 1099-HC?

Form 1099-HC is a tax document that your health insurance company will send to you to let you know if your health plan meets the state's Minimum Creditable Coverage requirements. The 1099-HC includes the information you need to complete Schedule HC of your state income tax return.

The Department of Revenue web site has a sample Form MA 1099-HC. The form you get from your health insurance company may have a different format, but will include the same information.

How do I get Form 1099-HC?

In most cases, your health insurance carrier will send you a 1099-HC no later than January 31:

  • All private health insurers are required to send 1099-HC forms to their subscribers.
  • MassHealth, Commonwealth Care, and Commonwealth Care Bridge send 1099-HC forms to their members with incomes above 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. 
  • Some government health plans that automatically meet MCC requirements, such as Medicare, Veterans Program Enrollment, and Tri-Care, do not send 1099-HC forms. For a list of automatically qualifying MCC plans, see the "Special Section on Minimum Creditable Coverage" in the Schedule HC 2012 Instructions.)

If you didn't receive a 1099-HC, and your health plan does not automatically qualify as an MCC plan, you should contact your health insurance company or your employer's benefits administrator. In some cases, you may be able to access and print out a copy of your 1099-HC form from your insurer's web site.

If you can't get a copy of your 1099-HC, you can complete Schedule HC without it. Compare your health plan's benefits to the "Benefits Required Under MCC" in the Schedule HC 2012 Instructions to see if your plan meets the MCC standards. Then fill out Schedule HC with your plan information and mark the oval next to the words "Fill in if you were not issued Form MA 1099-HC."

Do I file Form 1099-HC with my tax return?

Whether you include your 1099-HC form depends on how you file your income tax return:

  • If you file your Massachusetts tax return electronically, you do not have to send in your 1099-HC. Keep the 1099-HC form for your records.
  • If you file a paper tax return, you should include your 1099-HC with your tax return when you mail it. You should make a copy of the form and keep it for your records.

For answers to other questions about Form 1099-HC and Minimum Creditable Coverage, see Frequently Asked Questions on the Department of Revenue web site.