PPACA data errors could jeopardize coverage News added by Benefits Pro on July 2, 2014
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By Kathryn Mayer

The Obama administration is still struggling to resolve data errors in the exchanges under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which is jeopardizing millions of Americans who signed up for coverage, according to new analysis.

Though problems with the rollout of HealthCare.gov were well documented last fall, two new reports from the Health and Human Services inspector general gives an independent look at widespread issues that are continuing to plague the law.

The report found that the administration was unable to resolve 2.6 million inconsistencies in the federal exchange out of a reported 2.9 million because the CMS system for determining eligibility was “not fully operational.”

And of the roughly 330,000 cases that could be straightened out, the administration only resolved about 10,000, which is less than 1 percent of the total, according to the report.

Overall, the report said, the eligibility system is not fully functional, struggling mainly with citizenship and income information provided by consumers, which conflicted with information the administration had on file.

The 32-page report looked at problems in the exchange from October to December 2013.

The HHS inspector general found shortcomings in determining eligibility, giving credence to some critics who have argued that many consumers who are receiving subsidies for coverage under the law should not be receiving them.

Some Republicans used the new reports to slam the law, arguing that tax dollars are being wasted on ineligible consumers who should not be receiving subsidies.

“This report is one more example of just how flawed the president's health care law is,” Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement. “Whatever one’s opinion of ObamaCare, the American public deserves to know that their tax dollars are allocated appropriately and that public officials take their responsibility to accurately and faithfully apply the laws enacted by Congress seriously.”

CMS spokesman Aaron Albright, on the other hand, downplayed the report, saying that it does not address the changes that have already been made.

“It’s not news that HealthCare.gov had tech and data issues at the outset, but we’ve come a long way since then,” he said.

The inspector general, in the report's conclusion, said the administration needs to develop and "make public a plan on how and by what date the federal marketplace will resolve inconsistencies."

Originally published on BenefitsPro.com
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