Covered California under fire for enrollment delays, tax issues

California's state-run health insurance exchange, Covered California, has vowed to resolve enrollment and tax-related issues that have caused consumers to be denied coverage.

At a board meeting last week, the exchange's Executive Director Peter Lee responded to a letter from the Health Alliance of San Diego, which detailed issues during the first open enrollment period, reports the LA Times.

For instance, the group wrote that "many consumers face considerable difficulties in enrolling in the correct plan with the correct level of financial assistance, even after coming to agreement with Covered California staff as to what should be done."

The alliance, which contracts with Covered California as its independent consumer assistance program, also says that consumers were blocked from getting coverage because of the exchange's computer glitches. Many delays continue for months with no confirmation that consumers will be covered or reimbursed.

In addition to lengthy wait times, Covered California continues to struggle with issuing corrected tax forms to consumers despite repeated requests, notes the article. Because individuals must refile their 1095-A tax forms, consumers who received subsidies last year may have to repay some portion of their subsidized coverage if their income was higher than what they estimated during enrollment.

Yet despite Covered California's woes, 68 percent of previously uninsured California residents now have coverage, up from 58 percent after the first open enrollment period in the spring of 2014. What's more, the state has enrolled 1.3 million residents since Covered California's launch, which Lee attributes to the state being an active purchaser, FierceHealthPayer previously reported.

For more:
- here's the LA Times article