1.8 million Americans could lose subsidized coverage due to tax-filing issues

Tax filing issues may jeopardize subsidized health insurance coverage for 1.8 million Americans, reports the Associated Press.

Individuals who purchased plans using tax credits must file tax returns that properly account for them. If they don't file the forms, however, they may be ineligible to receive subsidies.

Many individuals may be confused about how to properly fill out the forms, according to the article. In the meantime, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is reaching out to affected individuals to alert them of such tax-related issues.

While public exchange customers typically have a greater understanding of their benefits compared to other types of health insurance customers, they also are highly concerned about costs, a recent report suggests. Thus the news that tax issues are jeopardizing some customers' subsidies may concern insurers that are vying for their business.

The Affordable Care Act's supporters could ease the process by better educating consumers on which forms they must complete, Judy Solomon of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, tells the AP.

"There is definitely room for improvement to make sure people understand how it works," she says. "They are getting an advance payment of a tax credit, and to finish the process they need to file a tax return. They have to look at it as a process that is a year long and has multiple steps."

Tax-filing problems plagued consumers this past open enrollment period. For instance, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services had to mail new 1095A tax forms to those who received a premium tax credit after purchasing a plan on Healthcare.gov. The form incorrectly stated the benchmark used to calculate a taxpayer's final tax obligation, FierceHealthPayer reported at the time.

For more:
- here's the AP story

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