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Questions and Answers about 2019 Advance Monthly Payments of the Health Coverage Tax Credit

General Questions

Q1. How do I know if I am eligible to receive the benefit of the 2019 Advance Monthly Payments of the Health Coverage Tax Credit (AMP HCTC) program?

A1. If you were an eligible trade adjustment assistance recipient, alternative TAA recipient, reemployment TAA recipient, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) payee, or a qualifying family member, you may be able to receive the benefit of the Health Coverage Tax Credit on a monthly basis through the 2019 Advance Monthly Payments of the Health Coverage Tax Credit program. The PBGC, the Department of Labor or a State Workforce Agency should have notified you by letter.  You, your spouse and eligible family members must be enrolled in qualified health insurance coverage for 2019 to receive the benefit of an AMP.
If the TAA, ATAA, or RTAA recipient or PBGC pension payee is deceased or finalized a divorce with you, you are eligible to receive the benefit of an AMP for up to 24 months from the month of the event if you were a qualifying family member immediately before the event.

Q2.  When will the IRS accept registrations for 2019 Advance Monthly Payments of the Health Coverage Tax Credit?

A2.  We will begin accepting Form 13441-A, HCTC Monthly Registration and Update, from new participants beginning November 16, 2018. 

Once your registration is complete and you are enrolled in the AMP HCTC program, you must pay 27.5 percent of your health insurance premiums in advance to the AMP HCTC program through the US Bank Lockbox system by the 10th of each month. The AMP HCTC program then adds the 72.5 percent advance portion of the HCTC and sends the full payment to your health plan administrator each month.

Q3.  Is there an open season for Advance Monthly Payments of the Health Coverage Tax Credit (AMP HCTC) program enrollment?

A3. No. While there is no open season for AMP HCTC program enrollment and registration with the IRS; you must be enrolled in qualified health insurance coverage to receive the benefit of an AMP. In addition, your Health Plan Administrator must be registered and follow certain requirements to receive the monthly payments. Contact your provider directly for more information.

Q4. Am I required to register and enroll in the advance monthly payment program for 2019 to claim the Health Coverage Tax Credit?  

A4.  No. If you don’t request advance monthly payments and instead pay 100 percent of your health insurance premiums in 2019, then you can claim your HCTC when you file your federal income tax return in 2020. This may increase your refund or lower the amount of tax that you would otherwise owe.

Q5. What health insurance coverage qualifies for the HCTC?

A5. All plans that were qualified for the HCTC in 2013 qualify for the HCTC through 2019 including COBRA or spousal coverage if the employer, or former employer, did not pay 50 percent or more of the cost of coverage. This also includes individual - private and non-group - health insurance that you purchase for yourself or your family from an insurance company, agent, or broker.

A qualified health plan offered through a Health Insurance Marketplace is not qualified coverage for the HCTC for 2019.

Review the instructions for Form 8885, Health Coverage Tax Credit, for information about qualified health insurance coverage that is eligible for the HCTC.

Review the questions and answers about Qualified Health Insurance Plans for the Health Coverage Tax Credit Eligibility for more information.

Q6. I have coverage through my spouse’s employer that is not a COBRA plan, Can I participate in the Advance Monthly Payments of the Health Coverage Tax Credit (AMP HCTC) program?

A6. No. You cannot receive the benefit of the Advance Monthly Payments of the HCTC for this type of coverage. You can, however, claim the HCTC by filing Form 8885, Health Coverage Tax Credit with your federal income tax return.

Enrollment Questions

Q7. How do I enroll in the advance monthly payment program for 2019?

A7. New participants must enroll using Form 13441-A, HCTC Monthly Registration and Update, beginning November 16, 2018. You must complete and mail Form 13441-A, HCTC Monthly Registration and Update, with all required supporting health plan documents to the IRS to enroll. An incomplete form or missing documents will delay the processing of your registration. Keep a copy of the completed HCTC Monthly Registration and Update form and all required documents for your records.

Q8. What else do I need to send to the IRS with my Form 13441-A?

A8. You must provide required supporting health plan documents with your registration. You must include a copy of your health insurance bill dated within the last 60 days that includes:

  • Your name
  • Monthly premium amount
  • Dates of coverage
  • Health Plan Administrator name and phone number
  • Health plan identification numbers
  • Address for mailing your payments

Q9. I don’t have this information or a health insurance bill dated within the last 60 days. What should I do?

A9. Usually, your health insurance bill will have all this information on it. If it does not, you will need to contact your Health Plan Administrator directly for a letter or another document that includes this information. You should wait to mail it with your Form 13441-A, HCTC Monthly Registration and Update. An incomplete form or missing documents will delay the processing of your registration.

Q10. Do I need to tell my Health Plan Administrator about the premium payments being made on my behalf under the Advance Monthly Payment of the Health Coverage Tax Credit program?

A10. You should confirm with your Health Plan Administrator that they meet the IRS requirements  to receive payments from the IRS through the Direct Deposit Program. The Health Plan Administrator may need to file new Form 3881-A, ACH Vendor/Miscellaneous Payment Enrollment Form, with the AMP HCTC program to receive the monthly payment.

Q11.Where do I mail Form 13441-A and the supporting documents?

A11. Mail the completed Form 13441-A, HCTC Monthly Registration and Update, and all required supporting documents to:

Internal Revenue Service
Stop 6098 AUSC
Austin, Texas 78741

Q12. I am already enrolled in the 2018 AMP program and receiving the benefit of advance monthly payments of the HCTC. Must I enroll and register again for 2019?

A12. No. If you’re already enrolled and receiving the benefit of advance monthly payments of the HCTC under the 2018 AMP process, you will be automatically enrolled in the 2019 AMP HCTC program. Although you do not need to register again, if you have changes, including a premium increase or decrease, family member, or plan information, you must complete and send an updated Form 13441-A, HCTC Monthly Registration and Update and check box 6 and make only the necessary changes to the form. Check with your TPA/HPA if the only information changing is a premium increase, Your TPA/HPA may be submitting this information on your behalf.

We will only mail you a letter in December if your 27.5 percent monthly payment amount is changing for 2019.  It will include instructions for making your monthly payment. 

Beginning with the payment due on January 10, 2019, you must follow the instructions and mail your payment to a different address. Do not mail your portion of the payment to your Health Plan Administrator for 2019 health coverage.

Q13. How long will it take for my enrollment to be processed by the IRS?

A13. Once you mail the HCTC Monthly Registration and Update form, it can take up to six weeks, if all requirements are met, before you receive registration confirmation. During this time, you must continue to pay 100 percent of your health insurance premiums directly to your health plan and keep records of your payments. You can claim the HCTC on your federal income tax return for months that you met all eligibility requirements and made payments directly to your health plan for qualified health insurance coverage.

Q14. Will the IRS contact me about my enrollment and registration?

A14. Yes. We will contact you after we receive your Form 13441-A and the supporting documents, and your eligibility for the HCTC is certified by the Secretary of Labor, your state workforce agency, your employment office, or the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

After you are certified, we will mail you a letter telling you that you are enrolled and certified for advance payments of the HCTC. The letter will include your HCTC Participant Identification Number that you will add to your payment information. We will also contact you if additional documentation is needed to enroll.

Q.15. How will I know what my monthly payment is?

A.15. The enrollment letter from the IRS will confirm your 27.5 percent monthly payment amount for your portion of the premium.  It will include instructions for making your monthly payment.

Q16. When is my payment due?

A16. Your exact payment amount is due by the 10th each month. We must receive your payment and payment coupon by the HCTC due date. If your payment is less than the exact amount due or is late, we won’t accept it and will return the payment to you. If we return your payment, you’ll be responsible for paying 100 percent of the unpaid premium directly to your health plan administrator. Any overpayment above the exact amount will be returned to you.

Q17. What methods of payments are accepted?

A17. The AMP HCTC Program accepts the following payment methods by mail: personal check, business check, certified check, cashier's check, and money order. Make your payment payable to US Treasury – HCTC. Write your HCTC Participant Identification Number on your payment and on your Form 13973, Health Coverage Tax Credit Blank Payment Coupon.

Q18. What else should I know about Form 13973, Health Coverage Tax Credit Blank Payment Coupon?

A18. Please download, complete, and print the HCTC payment coupon and include the bottom portion of the HCTC payment coupon with your payment when you make your HCTC payment. Failure to provide all required information could delay processing of your payment or the return of your payment if after research, the IRS cannot verify payment posting.

Q19. Am I required to make my monthly payment by mail only?

A19. Yes. You must mail Form 13973, Health Coverage Tax Credit Blank Payment Coupon each month with your payment.  Download, complete, and print the HCTC payment coupon. Make sure that your Participant Identification Number (PIN) is correct and legible on the payment coupon and include the payment coupon with your payment.  Failure to provide all required information could delay processing of your payment.

Q20. Where should I mail my monthly payment?

A20. Mail the payment coupon along with your payment to:

US Treasury – HCTC
P.O. Box 970023
St. Louis, MO 63197-0023

Reporting Changes

Q21. What should I do if my information changes?

A21. If the information changes after your enrollment is processed, including any changes to your premium amount, you will need to submit an updated Form 13441-A with the corrections.

Q22. Why was my payment returned? What should I do?

A22. Your payment may have been returned to you because it was less than what was due or you were ineligible. The AMP HCTC Program could not process your payment and make a timely payment to your health plan administrator for the current billing period. You should contact your health plan administrator to reconcile your account, and you will need to pay your entire premium amount directly to your health plan administrator. You can, however, claim the HCTC for this amount by filing Form 8885, Health Coverage Tax Credit with your federal tax return. Next month, you should check your payment amount, include Form 13973, Health Coverage Tax Credit Blank Payment Coupon, and mail your payment timely so that it is received by the 10th of the month.  

Q23. What happens if I stop making payments?

A23. If you fail to send a payment, or send a payment that’s less than your amount due, then no payment will be made on your behalf to your Administrator.

Q24.  What happens when I am no longer eligible for the HCTC and am enrolled in the Advance Monthly Program?

A24.  When you are no longer eligible for the HCTC and you are enrolled in the Advance Monthly Program, you must provide a letter notifying the IRS of this change, either by mail to the address below or by fax at 1-855-250-1731.

Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service
Stop 6098 AUSC
Austin, TX 78741

Q25. What happens to my Qualified Family Members once my enrollment is cancelled due to not being eligible?

A25. Once you notify the IRS you are no longer eligible, your enrollment will be canceled.  If you have a Qualified Family Member(s) that continue to be eligible, a new Form 13441-A, HCTC Monthly Registration and Update form will need to be mailed or faxed to the Austin Enrollment Team for enrollment.  Please be sure to include all documentation necessary to complete the enrollment.   

Checking on your Registration Status 

Q26. How can I check on the status of my registration or payment?

A26. If your issue cannot be resolved online, use the HCTC toll free line 1-844-853-7210 to check on the status of your registration or if you need general help claiming the credit.

Requesting Reimbursement for Premiums Already Paid in 2019

Q27. Can I be reimbursed for premiums I paid directly to a qualified health plan prior to confirmed enrollment in the 2019 monthly HCTC Program?

A27. Yes. You can request a 2019 HCTC reimbursement credit for premiums you paid directly to a qualified health plan for months you were eligible but not enrolled in the 2019 Monthly HCTC Program. You must be a 2019 Monthly HCTC Participant, received a letter from the IRS confirming your enrollment, and made at least one payment through the program for your request to be considered by the IRS.

Q28. What is the reimbursement period?

A28. You can request reimbursement for any pre-enrollment coverage months from the January 2019 program start. Qualified family members applying for the HCTC after the PBGC payee or TAA recipient has enrolled in Medicare, finalized a divorce, or deceased can request reimbursement starting with the month in which the event took place.

Q29. How do I request a reimbursement credit?

A29. Mail Form 14095, Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC) Reimbursement Request Form, and include the required documentation to the address listed on the form to request a 2019 HCTC reimbursement credit. Once you mail the HCTC Reimbursement Request Form, it can take up to 12 weeks – if all requirements are met – before you receive your reimbursement by check The IRS will mail a letter if your request is not approved or if additional supporting documentation is needed.

In order to allow for our end of year processing the IRS is no longer accepting Forms 14095 for the 2018 processing year after October 1, 2018. Reimbursement for any payments made during 2018 can still be claimed using Form 8885 when filing your annual Federal tax return. We will begin accepting Form 14095 for 2019 monthly payments after January 1, 2019.

Q30. What are the eligibility requirements for the HCTC reimbursement credit? What documents should I send to IRS?

A30. You must be a 2019 Monthly HCTC Participant, have received a letter from the IRS confirming your enrollment, and made at least one payment through the program for your request to be considered by the IRS.  See Form 14095, Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC) Reimbursement Request Form, for eligibility requirements for the reimbursement request. Follow the instructions for Part 2 of Form 14095 to determine your eligibility.  Refer to Part 3 of Form 14095 to ensure that you’ve included all supporting documents necessary for the IRS to verify your eligibility.