Feds say Obamacare website errors being reduced

Dec. 14, 2013 at 3:21 PM
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WASHINGTON, Calif., Dec. 14 (UPI) -- A new report from the Obama administration said Saturday that nearly 15,000 health insurance applications did not make it to the insurance industry.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said despite the high number of HealthCare.gov shoppers whose enrollments went off the rails, it represented less than 1 percent of the total number of enrollees.

"The vast majority of the work is retroactive," CMS spokeswoman Julie Bataille told the Washington Post Friday. "We are making sure that as we do the intense data reconciliation, we identify the things that need to be resolved so consumers can confirm they're enrolled."

The Post said the preliminary figures released Saturday provided one of the more concrete estimates of the current error rate for the much-maligned Obamacare website. In October, the error rate for transmissions was closer to 10 percent.

The transmissions from customer to insurance company are known as 834 transmissions. The conclusion that nearly all 834 transmissions make it from the insurance exchange Website to the insurance companies was portrayed as a success by the administration.

"Our analysis indicates that between October 1st and December 5th, the number of consumers for whom 834s were not produced was fewer than 15,000," the CMS said in a written statement. "But ... since the beginning of December, missing 834s as a percentage of total enrollments has been close to zero. These significant improvements are due to the technical fixes put in place by the end of November.

Meanwhile, the government has been urging insurers to be patient and flexible as additional bugs are banished from HealthCare.gov. The Wall Street Journal said the Department of Health and Human Services this week suggested carriers cover Obamacare applicants retroactively to Jan. 1 if any issues with their enrollment crop up after the first of the year, the Wall Street Journal said.

"We certainly want to make sure that anyone who thinks that they've enrolled with us, actually the information has gone to the plan...so that when the person shows up in January to get health care, you all will know who they are," Gary Cohen, a top HHS official told an insurance industry conference on Thursday.

Topics: Barack Obama
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