Thousands of MNsure users still waiting on tax forms

Published 10:19 am Friday, March 11, 2016

ST. PAUL — The state-run health exchange still hasn’t sent required tax forms to thousands of Minnesota residents who bought private coverage last year via the exchange.

MNsure officials had hoped to put all documents in the mail by mid-March, but they’re not going to be able to meet that goal, said MNsure chief executive Allison O’Toole during the exchange’s board meeting Wednesday in St. Paul.

“We have a significant batch of forms that are in-process as we speak,” O’Toole told board members, adding that, “We will not have 100 percent of the forms sent out before March 15.”

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MNsure missed the Feb. 1 deadline set by the IRS and then repeatedly pushed back its own projections for when all documents might be delivered, the Star Tribune reported. So far, the exchange has mailed about 29,000 out of an estimated 47,000 forms, which taxpayers need to account for government tax credits as they file their returns before the April 18 deadline for filing taxes.

“I do have confidence that consumers will have their forms before the deadline,” O’Toole told board members.

The exchange has experienced problems with a new automated process for creating the forms. It has also help off on delivering some forms to ensure accuracy.

During the meeting on Wednesday, board member Phil Norrgard expressed frustration with the delays, and asked whether MNsure failed to come up with contingency plans.

“Where is the accountability,” Norrgard asked, “when we get to this point where we just can’t do what we said we were going to do, and when we know we have to?”

But jumping from the automated process to a backup contingency plan for creating the forms has trade-offs, according to Scott Peterson of MN.IT, the state’s IT department. The involves reconciling data between MNsure and health insurers that must be delivered to the IRS, and not simply generating a form for individual MNsure users, he said.