KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Individuals Still Getting Errors From Health Website As Notifications To Insurers Lag

The Wall Street Journal looks at some of the inaccurate assignments that many consumers find when they seek insurance on the new marketplaces. Meanwhile, the enrollment records for 15,000 people were not properly transmitted to insurance plans, according to federal officials.

The Wall Street Journal: Errors Continue To Plague Government Health Site
Thousands of insurance applicants from—at least one in five at the height of the problems by one estimate—have received inaccurate assignments to Medicaid or to the marketplace for private plans, or have received incorrect denials, people familiar with the matter said. Eligibility determinations are an early step in the application process, before consumers choose plans. In some cases described by a state official with knowledge of the matter, legal immigrants who aren't yet eligible for Medicaid in Illinois—it takes five years of residence to join the state-run programs for low-income people—were nevertheless told they would be enrolled (Weaver, 12/13).

The Washington Post: Exclusive: Thousands Of Healthcare.Gov Sign-Ups Didn't Make It To Insurers
Enrollment records for close to 15,000 shoppers were not initially transmitted to the insurance plans they selected, according to a preliminary federal estimate released Saturday. While these cases pose a challenge for the Obama administration, officials say they believe the situation is improving. Since early December, fewer than 1 percent of enrollments did not make their way to health insurance plans (Kliff, 12/14).

CBS News: Nearly 15,000 Obamacare Sign-Ups Didn't Reach Insurers
Enrollment paperwork for nearly 15,000 Obamacare customers who signed up via never made its way to insurance companies, the Department of Health and Human Services announced Saturday. The disclosure reflects the considerable problems the Obamacare website's "back end" faced in corresponding with insurers throughout October and November, even as administration officials were working around the clock to improve the website's "front end" and enable consumers to shop for insurance. Still, HHS emphasized that enrollment records are now reaching their destination far more successfully, noting that since the beginning of December, the number of missing forms has been "close to zero" (Miller, 12/14).

The New York Times: Enrollment Errors Cut, Officials Say; Fixes Are Overstated, Insurers Report 
The Obama administration said Saturday that it had reduced the error rate in enrollment data sent to insurance companies under the new health care law, even as insurers said that the government's records were still riddled with mistakes. The quality of the data is important; it could affect the ability of people to get medical care and prescription drugs when they go to doctors' offices and pharmacies starting next month (Pear, 12/14).

Bloomberg: U.S. Says 15,000 Health-Care Enrollments Didn't Get To Insurers
The government failed to send data to health insurers for about 15,000 people who enrolled in Obamacare through early December, an error corrected last week before it could jeopardize their coverage, the U.S. said. The percentage of enrollments that aren't transmitted to insurers, a process known as an "834 transaction" is now close to zero, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said in a report yesterday (Wayne, 12/15).

Fox News: Feds: Thousands Of ObamaCare Web Purchases Not Recorded, Incorrect
The Obama administration acknowledged this weekend that the federal ObamaCare website failed to record insurance-policy purchases for as many as 15,000 Americans. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Saturday said the transactions were either not recorded or had errors and attributed the problem to "larger technical system issues." Agency spokeswoman Julie Bataille said the so-called "834 transaction forms" are processed by health insurance companies when consumers choose a policy on the site, which has been plagued by technical glitches since enrollment started in October (12/15).

Reuters: Obamacare Website Back Up Ahead Of Schedule After Maintenance
The troubled federal website used by Americans to shop for health insurance as part of President Barack Obama's healthcare overhaul was back up and running on Sunday after planned maintenance overnight took less time than planned, government officials said. underwent what officials at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the agency running the healthcare overhaul, called "extended maintenance" beginning at midnight Saturday EST (Begley, 12/15).

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