ACA subsidies at stake for thousands of Americans who didn't file tax return: 6 things to know

Tens of thousands of people who didn't file income tax returns could lose health insurance subsidies under the Affordable Care Act, federal officials and consumer advocates said, according to a report from The New York Times.

Here are six things to know about the subsidies and the people who may lose them.

1. There are three groups of people at risk of losing the subsidies they get to help pay premiums, according to Christine Speidel, a tax lawyer at Vermont Legal Aid. She told The New York Times they are people who failed to file a tax return; people who filed a return, but did so without the correct form to reconcile advance payments of the premium tax credit; and people who filed and reconciled, but didn't do so in time for the information to be made available to health insurance exchanges before the open enrollment period.

2. Those at risk of losing their subsides could lose them in January.

3. The subsidies are contingent on filing a tax return. That's so the federal government can verify eligibility and that the person received the appropriate amount of financial assistance based on household income, according to the report.

4. As of July, 710,000 people who had received subsidies under the ACA had not filed tax returns and had not requested more time to do so, the Internal Revenue Service said, according to the report. The IRS also said hundreds of thousands of taxpayers — 760,000 — had received subsidies and filed returns but had failed to attach the required form comparing the amount they were allowed to receive with subsidies paid, according to The New York Times.

5. People who lose their subsidies in January may, in some cases, have them restored if they visit, declare they have filed tax returns for 2014, and are found eligible for financial assistance before the open enrollment period ends at the end of January, according to The New York Times

6. If consumers attest, under penalty of perjury, that they filed their tax returns, and if they select health plans by Dec. 15, they won't lose their subsidies, according to The New York Times


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