At least 4 million Obamacare sign-ups have flawed applications out of the 8 million total applications, according to a report released Wednesday by House Republicans.
The Energy and Commerce Committee documents double the claims made in an Associated Press report released earlier on Wednesday, which found that according to a May 8 federal slideshow, 2.1 million Obamacare applications had “inconsistencies” in income, immigration and citizenship data. (RELATED: Obamacare Data Flaws Jeopardize Coverage For 1 in 4 Sign-ups)
Federal Obamacare contractor Serco compiled a chart for the committee which displays over 4 million application discrepancies by May 27. The inconsistencies include income, citizenship and immigration, residency, incarceration, Indian status, Social Security number, and eligibility for another federal health program.
While over 1.6 million annual and current income inconsistencies were identified, according to the documents, none had been resolved by May 27. Another 1.4 million concerned citizenship and immigration problems, but only 62,000 had been resolved by that point.
Just 97,000 of the 4,098,000 discrepancies had been addressed by the end of May.
The House committee requested specific data from the Department of Health and Human Services and three separate Obamacare contractors in late May, when the Washington Post first reported that between 1.1 million and 1.5 million Obamacare applications had conflicting information with other federal records. (RELATED: Lawmakers Hit WH Over Million-Plus Incorrect Obamacare Subsidies)
Because the Obama administration failed to create an income verification system in 2013 before it launched HealthCare.gov, it opted to approve Obamacare applications without any verification, based on the customers’ self-attestation of income, and is now checking application data by hand, now that customers are actively using their coverage.
“We are proposing to call consumers that have not uploaded the acceptable document(s) required to overcome their inconsistencies,” Serco wrote to Obamacare adminsitrator the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on March 27. Serco employees had to “call the consumers to inform and guide them to the HealthCare.gov portion of the website that lists the acceptable documents to clear their inconsistencies.”
Serco, a federal contractor charged with dealing with Obamacare paperwork, also warned the Obama administration that there would be problems due to the failure to establish an eligibility verification system.
“If backlogs and delays with the paper processing, don’t throw ‘under the bus,’” Serco wrote in a presentation to CMS last September. “The root cause of these challeneges is the failure of the ESD [verification] system, not Serco.”
Committee chairman Rep. Fred Upton hit the Obama administration for causing customers problems by failing to create the verification system.
“If struggling through HealthCare.gov the first time was not painful enough, millions are now being told they may have to go back to the website and address errors in their applications,” Rep. Upton said in a statement. “The president’s health care law was so flawed that workers are left with mail and phone calls to address questions in applications. We learned through our investigation that the backend of this system was never built and we continue to feel the negative effects of that failure.”
A White House official told the AP earlier Wednesday that the administration hopes to make its way through the discrepancies by the end of the summer.