Thousands of people are still waiting for tax forms from MNsure, but health exchange officials say the final batch of delayed documents soon will be in the mail.
MNsure is in the final stages of sending about 35,000 forms that list the value of tax credits for those who bought private health plans through the exchange for 2014.
The IRS says people shouldn't file taxes until they get their form — called a 1095-A — and MNsure was expected to distribute the documents by early February.
Most forms were sent in late January and early February, said MNsure spokesman Joe Campbell, but thousands were held back for accuracy checks. About 3,500 delayed forms were put in the mail on Monday, Campbell said, and the final batch of another 3,500 documents should be sent late this week or early next week.
"We're getting them out as quickly as we can," he said.
In recent weeks, MNsure has fielded questions on social media from people missing their forms. Chris Wittich, an accountant with Boyum & Barenscheer in Bloomington, said he could understand why some people might be frustrated, since those owed a refund want to file their returns as quickly as possible.
"It's not surprising, but it's still disappointing," Wittich said, noting that this is the first year MNsure has had to produce the documents. "I'd be very disappointed in my employer if I didn't have my W-2 form by the end of January."
Minnesota was one of more than a dozen states to launch its own health exchange in 2013 to implement the federal Affordable Care Act. The law requires almost all Americans to have health insurance, and tax credits through the new exchange marketplaces were meant to help shoppers by discounting premium costs.
The federal government's HealthCare.gov website serves as the insurance exchange for the majority of states, including Wisconsin. Last week, the government disclosed inaccuracies in about 800,000 tax forms distributed to people who purchased through the federal website.
There has been no such notice in Minnesota.
"Although it may be a headache for Minnesotans now who are relying on this information to complete their taxes in a few months, it will be a much easier process if they get the right information from the start," Campbell wrote in an e-mail. The goal has been to prevent "sending out incorrect information out of haste," he added.
During a MNsure board meeting last week, Mark Waggoner, 61, of Brooklyn Center, said the form he received from MNsure wrongly listed the value of his tax credits as zero for 2014. Waggoner said documents from his health insurer show he actually received $588 worth of federal subsidies.
Katie Burns, the chief operating officer, said that MNsure staff would investigate Waggoner's situation but that the exchange is not aware of any widespread problems with the forms. Campbell reiterated the point on Monday, saying that only a subset of those who've contacted MNsure about the forms have questioned accuracy.
"We've received about 600 questions about the data that are on [the tax forms]," Burns said during last week's board meeting. "That does not mean we have 600 forms that need to be corrected."
On Monday, Waggoner said he had just received a corrected form from MNsure.
MNsure delayed sending forms in complicated cases where the value of tax credits changed during the year, Campbell said. Tax credits are based on a mix of factors that can fluctuate including income and the number of people covered by a policy. Another complication is that some people came in and out of MNsure coverage during 2014.
Those circumstances don't apply to two people who said they bought coverage through MNsure last year and contacted the Star Tribune in recent days to complain about missing forms. But the MNsure spokesman said some complicating factors wouldn't be apparent to subscribers.
"If we notice there is an error before we send, we are working to fix it before it goes out," Campbell wrote in an e-mail. "All are complicated for one reason or another."
About 40 percent of the people who bought private health insurance during 2014 through MNsure received a tax credit. The exchange estimates cumulative savings across the state of about $30.9 million, for about 16,100 people.
By late April, roughly 50,000 people had signed up for private coverage through MNsure, but just under 42,000 were paying for their health plans as of May. MNsure says it is sending a total of about 35,000 forms, and each form can cover multiple enrollees in a household.