Connecticut’s health insurance exchange has delayed mailing 3,600 customers the forms they will need to file their tax returns, and might not get them out until the end of February.
Health insurance exchanges like Access Health CT are supposed to send customers the forms, known as 1095-As, by the end of January. Access Health mailed 64,400 forms to customers this week, but couldn’t complete the forms for the remaining 3,600 customers because of discrepancies in information between the exchange and the customers’ insurance companies, acting CEO Jim Wadleigh said Friday.
“The team is working as quickly as possible to get those out,” Wadleigh said. “Right now, we think the latest that we would get those out would be the end of February.”
Barring a change in rules, those customers won’t be able to submit their tax returns until getting the forms. People who bought insurance through an exchange last year must include information from the 1095-A in their tax returns.
Wadleigh said the exchange plans to notify the 3,600 customers by telephone by the middle of next week. The forms for other customers were mailed Thursday and Friday, so customers who are not affected by the delay will likely get them sometime next week, he said. The exchange’s call center does not have a list of the 3,600 affected customers, so people wondering if they’re one of them won’t be able to learn that way.
Asked if there will be consequences for missing the deadline for mailing the 1095-A forms, Wadleigh said Access Health officials have been in touch with the Internal Revenue Service and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Representatives for those agencies did not have immediate comments on the situation Friday afternoon.
“It is the first time we’ve done this, and so our priority right now is getting them out and less worried about what” the consequences could be, Wadleigh said.
The 1095-A forms include information about each household member who had coverage through the exchange, what months the person was covered, the cost of the person’s insurance premiums and any tax credits used to discount the premiums. Wadleigh said in some cases, Access Health’s system recorded a person as having been covered for a different number of months than the insurer’s system. Each insurer has some customers who are affected, he said.
“This is the first time we’ve created this process, and getting it perfect under a very short timeframe has been a challenge, not only for us but for a lot of the other states,” Wadleigh said. He said staff have assured him that the issues they uncover won’t be a problem next year.
1095-A forms are only mailed to people who received private insurance coverage through a public health insurance exchange like Access Health. People who had insurance from other sources for all of last year – or who received Medicaid through the exchange – simply need to check a box on their taxes to indicate that they fulfilled the individual insurance mandate imposed by the federal health law.