SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — Thousands of Americans may be filing inaccurate tax returns, because they have been told to ignore mistakes make by Covered California and other state and federal health care exchanges.
Some Covered California customers have been forced to wait months, diligently checking the mail for the tax forms Covered California was required by law to get them by February 2nd.
“They’ve had plenty of time, they knew this was coming,” Jeff Ward told KPIX 5 ConsumerWatch last month.
Covered California’s Dana Howard was not available for an interview Wednesday, but last month chalked up the delayed forms to growing pains of the new health care exchange.
Last month, the agency acknowledged at least 4,500 enrollees had not received their tax forms in addition to the more 100,000 who received inaccurate forms. In all, at least 13 percent of the forms sent out.
On Tax Day, those numbers seem to be growing. Covered California now acknowledges nearly a quarter of a million enrollees were impacted by missing or inaccurate forms, that they know of.
The agency claims the corrected forms have now all been sent out, but nearly every comment on Covered California’s Facebook page is in reference to related tax troubles.
Stacy Soggins, who was profiled by KPIX 5 in February, finally received her missing tax forms last week. But they arrived riddled with mistakes, and there was no time left to send in another dispute.
It’s an issue so prevalent nationwide, the feds announced they won’t be penalizing people who file inaccurate tax returns due to mistakes made by healthcare exchanges like Covered California and the federal Healthcare.gov.
While exchanges are chalking this up to a learning curve, enrollees say they’re are learning a lesson of their own.
“My experience in dealing with Covered California has been one of general frustration and finding them to be inept and incompetent,” Ward said.
While Jeff has still not received his 1095 via mail, it finally showed up online Tuesday night. But many people are complaining Wednesday they can’t log in to their online profiles to check to see if their forms are available.
Covered California now has a dedicated team handling disputes and calling people to let them know they won’t face tax penalties for filing returns with the inaccurate forms.