In a new setback for the health care law and the people it’s supposed to help, the government said Friday it made a tax-reporting error that’s fouling up the filings of nearly a million Americans.
After a successful sign-up season, the latest goof could signal new problems with the complex links between President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul and the nation’s income tax system.
Officials said the government sent the wrong tax information to about 800,000 HealthCare.gov customers, and they’re asking those affected to delay filing their 2014 returns. The issue involves 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 Obama’s law.
People can find out whether they’re affected by logging in to their accounts at HealthCare.gov, where they should find a message indicating whether they were affected or not. They also can check by phoning the federal customer service center at 800-318-2596.
Separately, California announced earlier that it had sent out inaccurate tax forms affecting about 100,000 households. The state is not part of the federal market but runs its own insurance exchange.
HealthCare.gov said in a blog post that the federal mistake happened when information on this year’s premiums was substituted for what should been 2014 numbers. The website had a technology meltdown when it was launched back in 2013, but seemed to have overcome its problems this enrollment season.
“It’s just another black mark on the administration’s handling of the health care act,” said Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center in Washington. “They were hoping for a clean season.”
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