Since shortly after the October
1 launch of Obamacare’s exchanges, we’ve been hearing complaints
from health insurers about the transmission of enrollment data
through the federally run insurance portal, HealthCare.gov. It’s
not coming through correctly, industry officials have said. In some
cases, it’s not coming through at all.
But until now, there’s been little indication of how many people
were affected by the problems.
According to The Washington Post, the errors are
The errors cumulatively have affected roughly one-third of the
people who have signed up for health plans since Oct. 1, according
to two government and health-care industry officials. The White
House disputed the figure but declined to provide its own.
The mistakes include failure to notify insurers about new
customers, duplicate enrollments or cancellation notices for the
same person, incorrect information about family members, and
mistakes involving federal subsidies. The errors have been
accumulating since HealthCare.gov opened
two months ago, even as the Obama administration has been working
to make it easier for consumers to sign up for coverage, the
government and industry officials said.
Government sources tell the Post that so far about
149,000 people have signed up for plans within the federal exchange
system, which covers 36 states. More have picked plans within the
state-run exchanges. But two months after launch, enrollment totals
still lag far behind the administration’s goal of 500,000 private
insurance sign-ups for just the month of October.
And in part because of the transmission errors, many of the
people who have signed up are still not fully enrolled, according
to the Post:
The errors, if not corrected, mean that tens of thousands of
consumers are at risk of not having coverage when the insurance
goes into effect Jan. 1, because the health plans they picked do
not yet have accurate information needed to send them a bill. Under
the 2010 law designed to reshape the health-care system, consumers
are not considered to have coverage unless they have paid at least
the first monthly insurance premium.
In theory, discrepancies between federal enrollment records and
data received by insurers is supposed to be run through a monthly
comparison process. But that can’t happen yet. As the Post notes,
“The part of the online system that is supposed to perform this
comparison, known as ‘reconciliation,’ is not yet built, according
to government officials.”
from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/12/03/one-third-of-obamacares-federal-exchange