The Obamacare contractor awarded a $1.2 billion contract processed just five percent of the total of paper Obamacare applications it was expected to process, according to St. Louis CBS affiliate KMOV.
KMOV reporter Chris Nagus reports that while the Obama administration and Obamacare contractor Serco expected the company to handle at least 6.2 million applications through Obamacare’s first enrollment period, the reality was drastically lower.
“We are prepared to manage an estimated 6.2 million paper applications representing about 30 percent of the total applications projected to be received between Oct. 1 and March 31,” John Lau, Serco program director for CMS, told a congressional committee last year.
According to CMS records Nagus obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, Serco ended up processing just 271,341 applications.
Serco protested that it had processed more than one million documents by April. Part of the disconnect could be glitches in the system that force customers to send in the same documents over and over. Nagus highlighted a customer who was told to submit the same income documentation to Serco three separate times because CMS continued to insist that it didn’t have the information.
Consumer advocates have previously raised similar concerns about the administration’s ability to keep track of consumer documents for verification on immigration status and income.
Serco employees have repeatedly told media outlets that supervisors are requiring normal work and overtime while giving them no work to do. Instead, workers are encouraged to sleep or play Pictionary, Nagus previously reported. The problem reportedly extends to Serco offices in Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma. (RELATED: Yet Another Obamacare Contractor Office Paid To Do Nothing)
“Our supervisor, I can’t speak for the others, but ours said if we process one or two of these applications a month, then we’ve done our job,” one Serco employee charged. (RELATED: Document Requests Stalled On Obamacare Contractor With No Work To Do)