My family received subsidies for a marketplace plan that I just found we weren’t eligible for – Any Options?

We live in Colorado. My husband quit his job and our family lost employer coverage starting Feb 1, 2023. I asked the deputy director of the agency I work for if I was eligible for employer coverage as a part time employee, and was told that I did not work enough hours to be eligible (I worked 20, she said 32). We enrolled in a marketplace plan with a $900 a month subsidy starting in February.

At the end of July, I found out from the offsite HR manager, that in fact, I am above the threshold and have been eligible the whole time, and that information was in the HR handbook that I signed to indicate I had read (to be clear, the deputy director gave me incorrect information). The coverage meets the criteria for being complete (sorry, can't remember the term) and affordable.

We are very concerned about the financial burden of needing to repay the full $900 per month in subsidies we received over the 6 months we thought we qualified (but presumably did not because of an employer option). I immediately dropped my hours below the ACTUAL threshold so that for August and moving forward, we are eligible.

We've heard rumors there can be leniency in the case of genuine mistakes, but we don't understand how to plead our case to the right person. Any ideas? Should we be trying to deal with this proactively or waiting until tax time? I only have my own handwritten notes from the meeting with the deputy director about the incorrect threshold, but I have a friend who left this agency because she was given the same threshold information by the same person and would be willing to attest to that error.

See also  NY Small Group Health Insurance Federal Open Enrollment Period runs November 15 – December 15 for January 1 effective dates.

Any help appreciated.

ETA: We are fairly confident we are going to fall in the income window for the year where we are eligible for a sizeable subsidy. Adding this because the brokers we've talked to can only seem to focus on how changes in my hours might affect our income, and thus affect the size of the subsidy.

submitted by /u/Dragonfly_West27