Great news: 2.6 million Healthcare.gov sign-ups still have unresolved problems
posted at 12:41 pm on July 1, 2014 by Ed Morrissey
In case anyone wonders, that comes to about a third of all the enrollments claimed by the White House in the initial open-enrollment period for ObamaCare. Three months later, significant data discrepancies exist, so much so that these consumers may not have health-insurance coverage at all, according to the HHS Inspector General:
The Obama administration has been struggling to clear up data discrepancies that could potentially jeopardize coverage for millions under the health overhaul, the government’s health care fraud watchdog reported Tuesday.
The Health and Human Services inspector general said the administration was not able to resolve 2.6 million so-called “inconsistencies” out of a total of 2.9 million such problems in the federal insurance exchange from October through December 2013.
It’s a slow process for resolution, too:
Of the roughly 330,000 cases that could be straightened out, the administration had only actually resolved about 10,000 during the period of the inspector general’s audit. That worked out to less than 1 percent of the total.
What exactly are those data “inconsistencies”? Pretty much what everyone expected:
Most of the issues dealt with citizenship and income information supplied by consumers that conflicted with what the federal government has on record, the report said.
And that’s going to be a big problem. The income information determines the subsidy assistance that goes to the insurer. Critics warned that putting the exchange on line without connection to the IRS for income verification would lead to fraud as well as misinterpretations and erroneous assignments of subsidies. If HHS has to start clawing back subsidies, consumers may find themselves with a big bill — and lose insurance if they can’t pay it.
So far, the IG won’t say for certain that all of the 2.6 million cases left are fraudulent or mistaken, but also so far, HHS hasn’t been able to resolve them. There are more cases in the state exchanges as well, which means that the gloating over 8 million sign-ups may be off by considerably more than a third. It also underscores how unprepared HHS was in rolling out ObamaCare, and that the competence factor hasn’t improved much since.
On top of that, just because people have successfully enrolled doesn’t mean consumers can actually get medical attention. Thanks to narrowed provider networks (and in some cases, mistaken listings in network-provider rolls), the few doctors who remain are backed up so far that the wait times are beginning to challenge the VA — as this woman in Florida discovered: