The Obama administration confirmed Friday that HealthCare.gov is still issuing 10 percent of its enrollment records with errors after repeatedly refusing to disclose the error rate to reporters.
The error rate of HealthCare.gov-issued 834 forms — enrollment records which tell insurers who has bought what plan — was a whopping 1 in 4 until the administration’s second deadline for HealthCare.gov fixes on November 30, said Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) spokeswoman Julie Bataille on Friday.
Although the error rate has somewhat decreased, it is unclear whether insurance companies still have to deal with the backlog of error-ridden forms.
CMS spokeswoman Julie Bataille explained to reporters Friday that the forms have been plagued with three types of errors: duplicate records, missing records and files with incorrect information.
Part of the problem was insurers’ inability to process the Social Security numbers of enrollees on the electronic forms, but Bataille reported Monday that this glitch was fixed.
But with a full 25 percent of enrollment in October and November subject to one of these errors, it’s not clear whether errors in past transactions have been fixed. And with the past and ongoing errors, though occurring less often, could leave a large number of consumers without insurance coverage on Jan. 1.
And though Bataille maintains that the error rate in enrollment records has fallen since CMS confirmed a slew of corrections to the website on Sunday, Robert Zirkelback, spokesman for the trade group America’s Health Insurance Plans, told the Washington Examiner this week that insurers are still seeing “significant problems” with the files.
Past and continuing errors could leave affected consumers without coverage if not caught within the next several weeks. Applications for coverage could be entirely missed or just contain incorrect information, leaving actual enrollment rates much lower than the number of consumers that have selected plans on Obamacare exchanges so far.
Consumers are just beginning to hear from insurance companies to pay their first premiums for coverage in January — the final step in actually enrolling Americans in Obamacare.
State-based exchanges are also seeing their share of enrollment record errors. Although the federal exchange doesn’t nearly represent most consumers that have purchased Obamacare coverage, insurers in both Kentucky and New York, whose exchanges have been considered early leaders, select a plan on their exchanges, have reported incorrect 834s.
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