Thousands receive incorrect health care tax forms; signup period extended

By Alistair M. Nevius, J.D.

The federal government announced on its HealthCare.gov website that many taxpayers who signed up for health insurance on the site have received an incorrect Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement, for 2014. It also announced an extension of time for uninsured taxpayers to sign up for insurance on the website.

For affected taxpayers, an incorrect amount was printed in Part III, Column B, of Form 1095-A. Taxpayers who obtained insurance through Healthcare.gov receive Form 1095-A, which explains their coverage and details any premium tax credit they received in advance. The announcement says that affected Forms 1095-A included the monthly premium amount of the second lowest cost Silver plan for 2015 instead of for 2014. However, the announcement says that the amount of the premium tax credit taxpayers received was not wrong.

The government says it will call and email affected taxpayers in the next few days. Corrected forms will be posted to taxpayers’ accounts on Healthcare.gov and should be ready in early March. Affected taxpayers will need to wait to file their 2014 tax returns until their corrected Form 1095-A is available. The Department of Health and Human Services says that some 800,000 taxpayers are affected by the problem.

Extended signup period

In other health care news, the Barack Obama administration is extending the deadline for certain taxpayers who live in states with federal health insurance exchanges to sign up for health insurance on the HealthCare.gov website through the end of April, allowing taxpayers who sign up by the new deadline to avoid paying a penalty for 2015 under Sec. 5000A. The original deadline to sign up was Feb. 15.

The Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, announced on Friday that uninsured taxpayers who paid the Sec. 5000A penalty for not having health coverage in 2014 when they filed their 2014 tax return and attest that they did not know about, or understand the implications of, the requirement to be insured or pay a penalty until they filed their taxes for 2014 will be allowed to apply for health insurance coverage that starts March 15 and will avoid the penalty for 2015.

For 2015, the penalty under Sec. 5000A is the greater of $325 for each individual in the taxpayer's shared-responsibility family without coverage or 2% of household income.

Alistair M. Nevius is the JofA’s editor-in-chief, tax.

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