Miscalculation Raises Questions of Tax Credit Eligibility

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A miscalculation from the Access Health Web site two weeks ago affected 5,700 people, some of whom were led to believe they qualified for more tax credits than they’re entitled to.

    Michael Cirrito, of Canton, is one of those affected. He’s afraid since the system error gave him the wrong tax credit, he might owe hundreds of dollars in back taxes at the end of the year.

    “That kind of tax hit would be my entire check for the month,” said Cirrito.

    The issue pertains to a letter he received from Access Health CT a couple weeks ago, which reads, “As a result of a system issue, you may have been qualified for the wrong level of financial assistance or you may have lost benefits you are due.”

    Vicki Veltri, the state’s health care advocate, says her office can help individuals appeal miscalculated tax credits and clear up any confusion.

    “We can directly intervene with both the carrier and with Access Health CT to reconcile the issue and make the consumer whole,” said Veltri.

    Access Health CT says each of the 5,700 affected customers had recently made some kind of change to their insurance plan.

    The resulting problems range from people receiving inaccurate tax credits to Access Health incorrectly enrolling individuals in Medicaid.

    “The good news is, we were made aware of the problem,” said Jason Madrak, Access Health’s Chief Marketing Officer. “So what we did is we reached out to all the individuals who were affected to make sure we had direct contact with them and to get them back into the proper plan or enrollment status they were entitled to.”

    Madrak said Access Health has since fixed the problem, but above all, he wants to make sure he and his colleagues react appropriately when future problems arise.

    “We are not perfect,” said Madrak. “The only thing I can say is we are committed. If anything like this does arise, and it probably will happen again at some point given the complexity, just to make sure we address it as fast as humanly possible.”

    However that does little to ease Cirrito’s concern about what he might owe at the end of the year.

    “Now we’re not sure whether we’re going to get a back bill from the insurance company dating back to Jan. 1 for that extra $110-130 a month,” said Cirrito.

    At this point, it’s still undecided how people like Cirrito will pay back those tax credits, or whether they’ll have to at all.

    Cirrito’s insurance carrier, ConnectiCare, declined to comment.

    If you were affected by the miscalculation and have further questions, you can reach out to the Office of the Healthcare Advocate.