Single, glaring flaw in Maryland’s exchange might mean $30 million in excess Medicaid payments

posted at 3:21 pm on February 27, 2014 by Erika Johnsen

Earlier this week, the state of Maryland finally gave the boot to the contractor that designed them an ObamaCare exchange so glitch-riddled it’s had them considering whether they shouldn’t temporarily-or-permanently shift the states’ residents onto the federal exchange. They still don’t have a complete solution for how they’re going to fix or replaced the crummy system, but heck, it’s something, via CNBC:

Some may say it’s a couple of months late and $65 million short, but Maryland finally fired the contractor that designed its botched Obamacare exchange.

To replace the ousted Noridian Healthcare Solutions, the state chose UnitedHealth Group subsidiary Optum/QSSI as the prime IT contractor on its health-care website on an interim basis.

The site hired Optum/QSSI in December to oversee repair efforts, after the federal government in October promoted the company to general contractor to fix its crippled Obamacare site, HealthCare.gov, shunting aside the original one, CGI Federal. …

Those problems became evident just minutes after Maryland’s health insurance exchange launched Oct. 1, The site crashed, and thousands of people eager to shop for and enroll in Affordable Care Act plans could not be assisted.

And $65 million is hardly the long and short of it. Maryland, of course, immediately got on board with the Obama administration’s Medicaid-expansion request, but their hastily structured, error-prone website is likely to tack on tens of millions of dollars to taxpayers’ total price tag. WaPo explains:

A single flaw in Maryland’s troubled online health insurance system will cost the state an estimated $30.5 million in excess Medicaid payments over the next 18 months because the system cannot accurately identify recipients who should be removed from the rolls, a report by state budget officials said.

The money will pay for coverage for thousands of individuals who are enrolled in Medicaid but whose income likely has increased to the point that they no longer qualify for the subsidy, which helps cover health costs for low-income individuals.

Maryland’s system cannot check whether Medicaid recipients earn too much to re-qualify. Rather than remove people incorrectly, the state reached an agreement with federal officials to delay reviews and continue payments until the site is repaired.

… In addition to identifying the “potentially very costly” Medicaid flaw, the report also found “significant uncertainty” about how much money it will take to fix the health insurance marketplace and where that money will come from.

Maryland, much like the federal government, has been steadily lowering expectations for the open enrollment period ending in barely a month, but the latest numbers peg their private-plan enrollment at just about 33,000 — less than half of their freshly-lowered enrollment goal of 70,000. Oof.


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IMO, it’s a feature, not a bug…follow the $$$

fortcoins on February 27, 2014 at 3:28 PM

Most competent administration in all of history!!!

Schadenfreude on February 27, 2014 at 3:29 PM

So I see they’ve got hemorrhaging cash covered in Maryland.

Flange on February 27, 2014 at 3:29 PM

Serves everyone one right who lives in MD and voted for these people. Taxes going up for everybody to cover the extra $30 million for the freeloaders.

Johnnyreb on February 27, 2014 at 3:29 PM

There’s a movie coming out, Dawn of Planet of the Apes, or similar.

Schadenfreude on February 27, 2014 at 3:30 PM

It’s only taxpayer money…

PatriotRider on February 27, 2014 at 3:31 PM

And MOM wants to run for president.

Johnnyreb on February 27, 2014 at 3:29 PM

Unfortunately, there are still a lot of us who live here and voted against these people. Yours truly included.

BKeyser on February 27, 2014 at 3:43 PM

$30 million here, $30 million there….

Pretty soon, you’re talking real money.

UltimateBob on February 27, 2014 at 3:45 PM

So how many blue states had this exact thing happen but it hasn’t been disclosed yet?

Can you say “reparations” and “payback”.

/I knew you could.

Key West Reader on February 27, 2014 at 3:45 PM

I’m just curious, nothing more, is ANYONE, surprised by this?

Offhanded on February 27, 2014 at 3:46 PM

Just get it from Obama’s stash.

No problema

txdoc on February 27, 2014 at 3:48 PM

Offhanded on February 27, 2014 at 3:46 PM

For some reason, I keep rolling a 1 on my 6-sided die.

Newtie and the Beauty on February 27, 2014 at 3:57 PM

“It’s only someone else’s money.”*

* Typical liberal voter/politician.

xNavigator on February 27, 2014 at 3:59 PM

This isn’t a design flaw, it’s a built-in wormhole to allow parasite scamming. It’s a backdoor, state run slush fund to supplement the victim class when they run short of taxpayer largess.

AppraisHer on February 27, 2014 at 4:02 PM

Speaking of Mediciad:

Utah, US
16m
====
Utah governor rejects full Medicaid expansion; backs federal block grant to cover poor – @AP
end of alert

canopfor on February 27, 2014 at 4:09 PM

cannot accurately identify recipients who should be removed from the rolls

seems to be a common theme for democrats….

dmacleo on February 27, 2014 at 4:21 PM

Maryland’s system cannot check whether Medicaid recipients earn too much to re-qualify.

I can see it coming :

The federal government increases the minimum wage and millions of Americans stand to lose their Medicaid coverage.

But the government can’t check whether Medicaid recipients earn too much.

Stoopid f*cking government.

MichaelGabriel on February 27, 2014 at 4:35 PM

OT: Lefties crowing about deficits “falling to pre-crisis levels“, even though the 2013 deficit is twice the 2007 deficit, half the 2008 deficit came from Obama’s pen, the deficit is set to climb back above a trillion in the next five years, and among the items they credit for the short-term fall are the sequestration that Obama fought against, and the payroll tax holiday imposed by Obama (so much for entitlements not contributing to deficits, right?)

The Schaef on February 27, 2014 at 4:42 PM

Correction to above: the end of the payroll tax holiday imposed by Obama

The Schaef on February 27, 2014 at 4:42 PM

It’s only money – typical leftist.

D-fusit on February 27, 2014 at 4:49 PM

They still don’t have a complete solution for how they’re going to fix or replaced the crummy system, but heck, it’s something, via CNBC:

And something is not nothing!!

Ed –
You mean the websites aren’t working perfectly on day one two three four five six seven eight nine ten eleven twelve thirteen fourteen fifteen sixteen seventeen eighteen nineteen twenty twenty-one twenty-two twenty-three twenty-four twenty-five twenty-six twenty-seven twenty-eight twenty-nine thirty thirty-one thirty-two thirty-three thirty-four thirty-five thirty-six thirty-seven thirty-eight thirty-nine forty forty-one forty-two forty-three forty-four forty-five forty-six forty-seven forty-eight forty-nine fifty fifty-one fifty-two fifty-three fifty-four fifty-five fifty-six fifty-seven fifty-eight fifty-nine sixty sixty-one sixty-two sixty-three sixty-four sixty-five sixty-six sixty-seven sixty-eight sixty-nine seventy seventy-one seventy-two seventy-three seventy-four seventy-five seventy-six seventy-seven seventy-eight seventy-nine eighty eighty-one eighty-two eighty-three eighty-four eighty-five eighty-six eighty-seven eighty-eight eighty-nine ninety ninety-one ninety-two ninety-three ninety-four ninety-five ninety-six ninety-seven ninety-eight ninety-nine one hundred one hundred one one hundred two one hundred three one hundred four one hundred five one hundred six one hundred seven one hundred eight one hundred nine one hundred ten one hundred eleven one hundred twelve one hundred thirteen one hundred fourteen one hundred fifteen one hundred sixteen one hundred seventeen one hundred eighteen one hundred nineteen one hundred twenty one hundred twenty-one one hundred twenty-two one hundred twenty-three one hundred twenty-four one hundred twenty-five one hundred twenty-six one hundred twenty-seven one hundred twenty-eight one hundred twenty-nine one hundred thirty one hundred thirty-one one hundred thirty-two one hundred thirty-three one hundred thirty-four one hundred thirty-five one hundred thirty-six one hundred thirty-seven one hundred thirty-eight one hundred thirty-nine one hundred forty one hundred forty-one one hundred forty-two one hundred forty-three one hundred forty-four one hundred forty-five one hundred forty-six one hundred forty-seven one hundred forty-eight one hundred forty-nine one hundred fifty
verbaluce on October 1, 2013 at 10:18 AM

(H/T NotCoach)

Wow. We’re at the hundred and fifty day mark now.

How time flies.

Those websites are gonna be working any day now. For sure.

There Goes the Neighborhood on February 27, 2014 at 5:12 PM

Don’t worry, once people understand they can game the system, there will be more enrollment.

Snowblind on February 27, 2014 at 5:15 PM

Here’s a tiny amount of inside ball: this wasn’t so much a firing as it was Noridian desperately trying to exit a business they haven’t wanted for some time now. The whole thing was a trainwreck from the very beginning, and there’s lots of blame to spread around here.

ctwelve on February 27, 2014 at 5:17 PM

So how many blue states had this exact thing happen but it hasn’t been disclosed yet?

Can you say “reparations” and “payback”.

/I knew you could.

Key West Reader on February 27, 2014 at 3:45 PM

Indeed Key. Nearly all the state exchanges were miserable failures and overshot reasonable costs by a mile. I know nothing about writing code, but even very rudimentary management and procurement skills could have done better than this whole fiasco, this is not rocket surgery. So I’m with you, this is more than incompetence. This is sharing the wealth (and when I say “wealth”, I mean our tax dollars). Infuriating.

JusDreamin on February 27, 2014 at 5:19 PM

There Goes the Neighborhood on February 27, 2014 at 5:12 PM

I love the classics…

JusDreamin on February 27, 2014 at 5:21 PM

Rather than remove people incorrectly, the state reached an agreement with federal officials to delay reviews and continue payments until the site is repaired.

Great to be so generous with money THAT IS NOT YOURS!

GarandFan on February 27, 2014 at 5:28 PM

Indeed Key. Nearly all the state exchanges were miserable failures and overshot reasonable costs by a mile. I know nothing about writing code, but even very rudimentary management and procurement skills could have done better than this whole fiasco, this is not rocket surgery. So I’m with you, this is more than incompetence. This is sharing the wealth (and when I say “wealth”, I mean our tax dollars). Infuriating.

JusDreamin on February 27, 2014 at 5:19 PM

Why only healthcare? Answer, it’s not. They are just as reckless and incompetent in the awarding of all government contracts. It is only glaringly obvious in this case because the contracted product was to be available for public inspection on a hard delivery date.

slickwillie2001 on February 27, 2014 at 6:12 PM

The money will pay for coverage for thousands of individuals who are enrolled in Medicaid but whose income likely has increased to the point that they no longer qualify for the subsidy

People’s incomes are actually rising?

Nobody’s more angry than Obama about this!

Lance Corvette on February 27, 2014 at 6:18 PM