Obama Admin Says Special Enrollment Period a One-Time Event
The Obama administration has said a special enrollment period that launched on Sunday for some individuals paying penalties under the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate will not occur again, the Washington Times reports.
CMS acting Administrator Andy Slavitt said, "In subsequent years, this special enrollment period will not be available" (Howell, Washington Times, 3/13).
The administration last month announced a special enrollment period for individuals who can confirm they:
- Did not know about the individual mandate penalties until they prepared to file their taxes;
- Owe the federal government a penalty for not having coverage in 2014; and
- Do not currently have a health plan purchased through the federal exchange.
The special enrollment period began on March 15 and will end on April 30. It only applies to residents in states that used the federal exchange for enrollment. However, states that have established their own exchanges can choose to offer a similar enrollment period (California Healthline, 2/20).
Some U.S. Residents Still Waiting for Corrected ACA Tax Forms
In related news, some U.S. residents are still waiting to receive updated tax forms from CMS that state the correct amount of subsidies they received under the ACA, The Hill reports (Sullivan, The Hill, 3/13).
The administration last month said about 20% of U.S. residents who enrolled in coverage for 2014 through the federal exchange -- about 800,000 people -- received 1095-A forms that included the wrong value for the local premium, which influenced other tax calculations. As a result of the error, taxpayers might claim a subsidy that is either higher or lower than that for which they are eligible.
The administration later announced that U.S. residents who received incorrect ACA tax forms and already filed their taxes did not have to amend their tax returns. According to the Treasury Department, around 50,000 individuals who received the incorrect forms had already filed their taxes by the end of February. The administration did not say how many people might have paid too much or too little because of the error.
Meanwhile, the department urged those who had received an incorrect form and had not yet filed their taxes to wait to do so until they receive a new form, which CMS said should be sent in early March (California Healthline, 2/25).
CMS 'in the Process' of Sending Corrected Forms
CMS spokesperson Aaron Albright on Friday said the agency is "in the process" of sending out the updated forms, adding that more information on the process would be released soon (The Hill, 3/13).
According to CQ HealthBeat, administration officials did not say how many of the 800,000 affected individuals had received corrected forms so far. In addition, officials at CMS and the Treasury Department would not say whether those still waiting for the updated forms would receive any extensions or other assistance in filing their taxes (Adams, CQ HealthBeat, 3/13).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.