WASHINGTON Aug 5 The U.S. Internal Revenue
Service has provided nearly accurate information on eligibility
data for consumers who sought subsidized health coverage through
Obamacare's private insurance exchanges, a federal watchdog said
A report released by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax
Administration said data on consumer income and family size that
the IRS sent to healthcare exchanges last October was accurate
in 99.97 percent of cases.
The data was used to determine whether insurance applicants
were eligible to purchase coverage through the exchanges during
an initial six-month open enrollment period, which ended in
The report also said the agency's accuracy rate stood at 100
percent when it came to calculating federal tax credits that
help cover insurance premiums for families earning up to 400
percent of the federal poverty line, or $95,400 per year for a
family of four.
A federal healthcare exchange was set up under Obamacare to
serve consumers in 36 states that chose not to establish their
own marketplaces. The remaining 14 states and the District of
Columbia operate their own exchanges.
Investigators looked at IRS activity in October, a period
when the federal exchange was stymied by technical glitches that
overwhelmed the website, HealthCare.gov, for weeks.
The inspector general's report described the audit as part
of ongoing oversight of the IRS role in President Barack Obama's
Affordable Care Act, under which 8 million Americans have
obtained private health coverage for 2014.
The findings could be good news for the IRS, long a target
for opposition to Obamacare among Republican lawmakers in
Congress who have questioned its ability to tackle eligibility
It said the agency received 101,018 requests for income and
family size verification from health insurance exchanges from
Oct. 1 to Oct. 4, 2013 and provided accurate responses on
The IRS incorrectly told exchange officials that it could
not provide tax information for individuals in 33 cases because
it could not match the applicants' names to IRS records.
It accurately calculated the maximum monthly tax credits for
120,824 requests received between Oct. 1 and Oct. 14, the report
As of March, the IRS had received more than 27 million
requests for data about income and family size and 11 million
requests involving tax credits.
(Reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Dan Grebler)