Obamacare glitches denying coverage in Michigan
Obamacare technical problems are keeping at least 84,000 Michigan residents from receiving Medicaid benefits.
The Michigan Medicaid program is still not receiving full data files for residents that applied to Medicaid through HealthCare.gov, and as a result, the state hasn’t been able to process any Medicaid applications yet, almost six months after the federal website’s launch.
“We don’t know why we aren’t getting the complete information,” Angela Minicuci, spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Community Health, told The Detroit News. “We’re receiving the notice, but we’re not receiving enough information on each individual to begin processing those applications.”
“Other states are also having the same problem,” Minicuci added, “this isn’t unique to Michigan. This all goes back to the issues the federal exchange has had on a national level.”
HealthCare.gov’s faulty Medicaid files have been causing the states grief for months, but Michigan’s 84,000-strong wait list indicates that the glitch still hasn’t been resolved.
Iowa called out the Obama administration in December for its failure to resolve the problem for 10,000 state applicants. West Virginia followed up in early January with the complaint that another 18,000 residents wouldn’t yet receive care due to HealthCare.gov’s incomplete records. (RELATED: Strike Two: 18,000 left without coverage after new Medicaid glitch)
In all, over 100,000 Americans applying for either Medicaid or CHIP, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, remained without coverage due to HealthCare.gov problems.
Minicuci told The Detroit News that the state is contacting applicants to ask them to apply again, this time directly through the state website — a laborious tactic White House officials encouraged in January.
White House senior communications adviser Tara McGuinness promised that “one hundred percent of those who are having issues are being contacted by us or the states,” but brushed aside the severity of the flaw, which she said “impacts a small fraction of Americans who will have access to health care from Medicaid.”
The Detroit News notes that in Michigan, the wait time for applicants to the standard Medicaid program has been six months for those that signed up last October.
Applicants to Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion should begin to receive coverage April 1, although state officials haven’t yet specified what date care will be available.
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