ID verification lagging on health care website

Just days before the Obama administration’s self-imposed deadline to fix the troubled federal health insurance website, officials said Monday that they were aware of another problem that has prevented thousands of people who were unable to verify their identity from shopping for health plans.

Many users of the website have had their applications cast into limbo after they uploaded copies of documents like driver’s licenses, Social Security cards and voter registration cards, or sent them to the office of the federal insurance marketplace in London, Ky.

Administration officials said the government had established strict procedures to verify that people applying for insurance were who they said they were, in order to prevent fraud and identity theft. But a breakdown in the process instead is causing concern among some consumers about the handling of their personal information. …

Customer service representatives for the federal marketplace and for Experian said they had received calls from many people who were unable to verify their identity, and internal government documents show that lower-level federal employees have known of a problem for weeks.