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How do I show proof of health insurance?

Dino Christoforakis
Dino Christoforakis

Editor in Chief & Licensed Insurance Agent.

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  • When signed up for coverage, insurers assign an account number,and this is proof of insurance
  • The insurers routinely issue an identification card for subscribers, and this is proof of insurance
  • The identification card and account number have limitations, and proof of insurance is not proof of coverage
  • Proof of coverage only occurs when a claim goes to the payers


Proof of insurance can take any of several forms. It can take the form of an Identification Card that names the holder as a subscriber to a particular health Insurance plan. These satisfy the request, but that advise very little about the coverage.

There can be more than one payer for an insured person. For example, one can have a private insurance carrier for prescription drug benefits and use Original Medicare for health insurance. This would yield two Identification cards and two payers.

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Proof of Insurance Differs by Status


Policyholders have a different standard than dependents of employees with offers of coverage. The status of the taxpayer makes a difference in the documents needed and the best forms of proof of health insurance coverage.

The forms of qualified coverage include qualified health plans, employer-sponsored insurance, Medicare Advantage, Original Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP.

Common Forms of Proof of Health Insurance


Every form of proof need not be an official record. Records may be best, but the below-described letters and other correspondence can help too. Some forms show that one enrolled, and other forms of proof go to the idea of an active account, and this includes claims filed with a payer.

  • Insurance cards are proof of enrollment and a record number to get more information.
  • Explanation of Benefits (EOBs) are required statements from an insurer to policyholder detailing benefits under the plan.
  • Letters, bills, and statements from insurers.
  • Payroll records that show health insurance deductions.
  • Marketplace records of advance payments and the premium tax credit.
  • Any business record or other statements indicating coverage.

Tax Forms and Proof


The Standard Form 1040 has a box that taxpayers must check. It asks whether the individuals on the return had a full year of coverage. To check this box, one has to have proof of coverage for the year. This proof comes from several sources, as listed below. The IRS policy towards this proof was that it was essential to processing the return. That policy is in a state of change or modification. Since the changes have ripened into a firm policy, one should be aware of the rules as well as the possibility of changes.

  • Certification of coverage for policies purchased through the Marketplace.
  • Information from employers that covered employees and that made offers of coverage.
  • Insurers send policyholders information about coverage for the year

Why is proof of insurance important?


Proof of insurance is important because it is part of the requirements for treatment. Medical care providers join networks and agree to treat patients for prices that are lower than their standard rates.

The presence of proof of insurance guides the patient’s costs. The benefit of health insurance coverage is that prices for medical services are lower when using the network resources of the particular plan.

Insurance versus Coverage

A piggybank with a stethoscope

Unfortunately for some medical care providers and some subscribers, there can be a big difference between proof of insurance and coverage. Proof of insurance may take the form of an identification card that is valid on its face. Coverage involves the terms of the policy and whether the policyholder is current on its obligations under the plan.

The policyholder may have to pay a deductible before insurance benefits start. The terms of the policy may exclude providers outside the plan’s network. Coverage questions do not get a final resolution until a claim goes from the medical services provider to the insurance payer.

Showing Proof of Insurance

When asked for proof of insurance, the requesting party usually states the form they will accept. Medicaid, and the CHIP issue identification cards. These cards answer the question of enrollment. It leaves the question of current activity.

The requester must take an additional step to confirm that the account is active. A medical care provider can quickly check validity ad whether the account was active by online or telephone. The question of whether an account was active on a given day can be troublesome.

Showing Proof of Insurance for Tax Purposes


The IRS has issued rules and then issued an advisory of changes. The current set of forms is described in the below-listed items.

  • Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement. This form goes out to every policyholder that purchased insurance through the Marketplace or a state exchange. The form identifies each covered person and the times during which they had coverage.
  • Form 1095-B, Health Coverage. Insurers send this form to policyholders that s they cover. The Form 1095-B contains information about coverage. It identifies persons covered and the periods of coverage.
  • Form 1095-C, Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance Offer and Coverage. Self-insured employers and other employers that offer coverage to employees and dependents can send this form. It contains the offers of coverage, the names or status of those covered by the offer, and the periods that the offer would cover. Certain employers send this form to certain employees, with information about what coverage the employer offered.

Showing proof of insurance to Avoid the Penalty

The law is in a state of flux on this subject. The new administration delegated authority to agencies to relieve the burden of the Affordable Care Act. The primary burden for nearly every taxpayer is the cost of insurance and the penalty for no insurance.

The IRS has proposed to relax the rule requiring filing information about coverage.

Before the administration’s order, the IRS rejected returns that did not specify coverage. Under the new relaxed approach, the IRS will accept and process returns without that information.

Proof and Taxes

There are many forms of proof of enrollment and participation in a health plan over the course of a year. Taxpayers will have to understand the methods for proof of insurance for IRS review. The agency promises to relax the rules and make it easier for taxpayers to comply with the Affordable Care Act mandate.

Comparison shopping is an effective method for selecting health insurance coverage. It can help find the best value and fit for an individual or family situation. Click here to compare free quotes today!

[su_spoiler title=”References:” icon=”caret-square” style=”fancy” open=”yes”]

  1. https://www.healthcare.gov/verify-information/documents-and-deadlines/
  2. https://www.irs.gov/affordable-care-act/individuals-and-families/ifthen-chart-explains-how-the-health-care-law-affects-you
  3. https://www.healthcare.gov/health-care-law-protections/summary-of-benefits-and-coverage/
  4. https://www.irs.gov/affordable-care-act/individuals-and-families/health-care-law-and-your-tax-return
  5. https://www.healthcare.gov/choose-a-plan/plan-types/
  6. https://www.healthcare.gov/glossary/claim/
  7. https://www.healthcare.gov/using-marketplace-coverage/
  8. https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1095c.pdf
  9. https://www.irs.gov/affordable-care-act/individuals-and-families/individual-shared-responsibility-provision
  10. https://www.healthcare.gov/taxes/other-health-coverage/


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