REMINDER: Today is the last day for 300,000 HC.gov enrollees to clear up income discrepancies!
I've already posted about this issue several times before, but I, like the Wall St. Journal, figured I should post a reminder since today's the deadline:
WASHINGTON—Hundreds of thousands of Americans face a Tuesday deadline to verify their income and are at risk of losing or having to pay back their federal health-insurance subsidies under the Affordable Care Act.
The need for people to pay back the government could become a headache during next year's tax season, when Americans are expected to pay back any subsidies they weren't eligible for.
The Obama administration has told more than 300,000 individuals who obtained coverage through the federal HealthCare.gov site that they may lose some or all of the subsidies if they don't provide additional income information that jibes with Internal Revenue Service data. That information includes tax returns, wages and tax statements, pay stubs and letters from employers.
Hundreds of thousands of people who obtained health coverage through state exchanges also have documentation issues and could potentially be getting subsidies they aren't eligible for.
It's important to note that this is a separate issue from the immigration/citizenship data discrepancies that 115,000 people have to clear up. In those cases, failure to do so could result in their policies being cancelled completely. The income issues that I'm talking about here won't put the actual policies at risk, just the tax credits that most of the 300K in question are currently receiving. The astonishing thing about this, however, is that...
..."Most people don't know they even got advance tax credits," said Mark Ciaramitaro, vice president, health-care services at tax preparer H&R Block Inc. "They are going to be surprised and need to know what just happened, and a lot of people will be frustrated."
Astonishing. I was one of those who enrolled via HC.gov. It was right there on the website, at several stages of the enrollment process, in big, clear letters, and then again when you actually go to check out: The original, full commercial premium price, minus the tax credit that I qualified for, and then the discounted price below that.
I'm amazed that so many people are apparently that oblivious, but I do believe it. (sigh...)