Sometimes what happens in Vegas doesn’t just stay on the Strip—it blows across the Sagebrush State like a wayward tumbleweed. Case in point: Nevada Health Link enrollees have been reporting mistakes on the 1095-A IRS forms to calculate their premium tax credit on the federally supported state-based HIX.
“Problems with inception of coverage and termination dates have been a long-standing issue in terms of dealing with Xerox’s data,” Bruce Gilbert, the exchange’s executive director, told The Las Vegas Review-Journal. “We have understood and always recognized there would be errors as a result of the data in the system, and we’ve been working on reconciling that. We did know to some degree that the problem would be out there, and we’ve tried to be prepared for it.”
The errors were blamed on incorrect coverage dates compiled by Xerox, according to the newspaper. Big Blue was fired last May as the state’s HIX contractor following technical glitches—a familiar scenario that has played out across this new online landscape as also evidenced by Oregon’s sacking of Oracle, which sparked legal action.
The tax-form snafu spilled into neighboring California, whose state-run HIX recently estimated that more than 11 percent of 900,000 statements it mailed to enrollees were riddled with mistakes. Corrected forms, however, were expected by the end of February. Nevada Health Link hasn’t estimated the percentage of faulty forms among the 30,000 it mailed in late January, but its 2014 enrollees were advised to prepare their federal income-tax statements early to build in enough time to seek a revised statement, The Las Vegas Review-Journal noted.
The consensus seems to be that it may be too early to assess the scope of these errors and any collateral damage that may have been caused.
“Surprisingly, I have not as yet had anybody contact me about any mistakes in the IRS forms 1095-A they have received from the Nevada Health Link,” says Vickie Mayville, past president of the Nevada State Association of Health Underwriters and owner/broker at Mayville Incorporated Health Insurance Agency. She and many other brokers had anticipated a huge problem during the current tax season. “But so far it has been surprisingly quiet,” she reports, quipping that it could also be “the calm before the storm.”
Terri Lightfoot, executive director and CEO of the Nevada Business Group on Health, says the delay in paperwork is unfortunately resulting in a delay in coverage, which “is not the intent of year-round enrollment.” Although her organization doesn’t deal with the exchange, it receives many calls from people looking for help. Whatever becomes of the error, she believes that “it is all hands on deck at Nevada Health Link, and their leadership and staff is committed to being very responsive to consumers.”
This article originally appeared in Employee Benefit Adviser.
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