Obama administration officials Friday dealt with a new Healthcare.gov snafu, admitting that some 800,000 people got incorrect tax statements about their coverage in 2014.
This means that many taxpayers will have to wait longer for tax refunds. The form errors affect as many as 20 percent of the statements sent by HealthCare.gov to people who signed up for health coverage for 2014, and got tax credits to reduce the cost of their premiums.
The tax form errors surfaced after President Obama had touted a successful enrollment season, announcing that about 11.4 million people signed up.
The good news for many Americans seeking coverage: The 2015 enrollment period, which initially ended Sunday night for most who are eligible, helps many uninsured consumers avoid tax penalties for going without coverage in 2015. The new deadline is April 30. The penalty for being uninsured doubles from as much as 1 percent of income this year to 2 percent of income next year.
Officials said the government sent the wrong tax information to about 800,000 HealthCare.gov customers. They’re urging those affected to delay filing their 2014 returns. At the center of the issue is a new government form called a 1095-A, which is like a W-2 form for health care for people who got subsidized private coverage under Obamacare.
The government said that those who received an incorrect 1095A statement are being notified. It is virtually impossible for consumers to know whether the local premium listed on the statement is incorrect.
Some 50,000 people appear to have already filed their taxes using incorrect statements, federal officials said. The Treasury Department is hasn’t decided what to do about that batch. The 750,000 who haven’t filed are being told to wait until they get corrected statements.
In a separate development, California officials said earlier that the state had sent out inaccurate tax forms affecting about 100,000 households. California is not part of the federal market served by HealthCare.gov, but runs its own health insurance exchange.