ObamaCare tax glitch caused by coding error

The ObamaCare glitch that sent the wrong tax information to 800,000 people this year was the result of a coding error, a federal health official confirmed Monday.

The information used to calculate subsidies was wrong on about 20 percent of tax forms “because of an intermittent defect in the code that was used to create these forms,” the official wrote in a statement. Instead of listing information about ObamaCare benchmark plans for 2014, the forms listed 2015 data.

ADVERTISEMENT
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) disclosed the error on Friday after first discovering the issue in January. It had not stated what triggered the problem.

The tax form glitch indicates continuing problems with ObamaCare’s health IT in a year in which the HealthCare.gov website otherwise escaped major problems. At least 11.4 million people signed up for ObamaCare this year, far more than last year’s 7 million.

Aaron Albright, a spokesman for the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS), said Monday that government officials were still investigating the problem.

Republicans, led by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin HatchOrrin HatchInternet companies dominate tech lobbying Senate panel approves pension rescue for coal miners Overnight Tech: GOP says internet fight isn't over | EU chief defends Apple tax ruling | Feds roll out self-driving car guidelines | Netflix's China worries MORE (R-Utah), have blasted the government’s handling of the error.

“CMS gave no explanation for the errors,” Hatch wrote in a letter to CMS officials Monday, demanding more answers. He also asked for the names of contractors and agencies involved.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Friday that he believed CMS and the Treasury Department would resolve the issue “within the next couple of weeks” and that all taxpayers will be able to file their paperwork before the April deadline.

“The IRS and CMS are working diligently to address this problem. And it’s something that they take seriously,” Earnest told reporters.