IRS exempts filers who got wrong 1095-A info from any added penalty

People who purchased health insurance for 2014 through the federal exchange or the state-run exchanges like Maryland’s will not have to file an amended return and won’t be pursued for any additional taxes if they received 1095-A forms with incorrect information about any subsidies they received, federal officials said today.

About 820,000 customers of the federal HealthCare.gov marketplace received 1095-A forms that had incorrect information tied to the price of “benchmark” health plans. Those benchmark plans are used to determine how much low and moderate income customers get in tax credits to help pay for their own health plans under the Affordable Care Act.

In Maryland, of about 58,000 1095-A forms distributed, about 500, or less than 1 percent,  were found to have an error and have been corrected. About 200 additional forms in question are being reconciled with information from the insurance carriers.

Kevin Counihan, chief executive officer of HealthCare.gov, said in a media call that about 3 to 4 percent of customers on the federal HealthCare.gov system have had some issue with information about their account. Those discrepancies have included incorrect coverage dates for plans.

He wrote a blog post today elaborating on the latest federal response on the website of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. People whose 1095-A forms had an error may want to check with their tax preparers to see if they should file an amended return, because in some cases they would get additional money back from the Internal Revenue Service with the corrected tax form.