Errors plague 1/3 of Obamacare online enrollees

Rick Moran
The Washington Post is reporting the bad news for Obama; about 1/3 of consumers enrolled through healthcare.gov have serious errors in the plans they chose.

The mistakes include failure to notify insurers about new customers, duplicate enrollments or cancellation notices for the same person, incorrect information about family members, and mistakes involving federal subsidies. The errors have been accumulating since HealthCare.gov opened two months ago, even as the Obama administration has been working to make it easier for consumers to sign up for coverage, the government and industry officials said.

Figuring out how to clean up the backlog of errors and prevent similar ones in the future is emerging as the new imperative if the federal insurance exchange is to work as intended. The problems were the subject of a meeting Monday between administration officials and a new "Payer Exchange Performance Team" made up of insurance industry leaders.

The idea that one-third of the enrollment records are flawed "doesn't accurately reflect the picture of what's happening right now," White House senior communications adviser Tara Mc­Guinness said.

"We've got a team of experts already working closely with issuers to make sure that every past and future 834 is accurate. We're confident they'll succeed," Mc­Guin­ness said. The 834s are nightly enrollment forms sent to insurers to tell them who their new customers are.

Some of the errors in the past forms were generated by the way people were using the system, another senior official on the project said, such as clicking twice on the confirmation button or moving backward and forward on the site.

Through more than a dozen bug fixes over the past week, the team has managed to reduce the instances of when data was not generated on 834 forms from 3 percent last week to 0.5 percent now, according to senior officials.

The Obamacare crew has credibility problems, so take those figures as you wish. They have zero incentive to report bad news, or problems with the system. Some of their most recent statements are already shown to be baloney:

Federal health officials announced Sunday that they had met that goal. By 6 p.m. Monday, the Web site had had close to 800,000 unique visitors -- one of the administration's targets for the site's performance -- and was set to pass that mark by the end of the day, according to administration officials. And the site processed 18,000 enrollments in the most recent 24-hour period, nearly double the previous record.

Still, not all was smooth. By mid-morning Monday, some Americans trying to use the Web site were running into a logjam. And by late morning, when the number of people on the site was roughly 35,000 -- or 15,000 fewer than administration officials had said it could handle -- some consumers encountered a "queue," a new feature intended for times when the site was too crowded. The feature limits the number of people on the site and notifies others by e-mail when it's a better time to log in.

Citizens have less than 3 weeks to sign up for insurance or pay a penalty. With the website problems still apparently unresolved, it will not be a merry Christmas for millions of Americans.


The Washington Post is reporting the bad news for Obama; about 1/3 of consumers enrolled through healthcare.gov have serious errors in the plans they chose.

The mistakes include failure to notify insurers about new customers, duplicate enrollments or cancellation notices for the same person, incorrect information about family members, and mistakes involving federal subsidies. The errors have been accumulating since HealthCare.gov opened two months ago, even as the Obama administration has been working to make it easier for consumers to sign up for coverage, the government and industry officials said.

Figuring out how to clean up the backlog of errors and prevent similar ones in the future is emerging as the new imperative if the federal insurance exchange is to work as intended. The problems were the subject of a meeting Monday between administration officials and a new "Payer Exchange Performance Team" made up of insurance industry leaders.

The idea that one-third of the enrollment records are flawed "doesn't accurately reflect the picture of what's happening right now," White House senior communications adviser Tara Mc­Guinness said.

"We've got a team of experts already working closely with issuers to make sure that every past and future 834 is accurate. We're confident they'll succeed," Mc­Guin­ness said. The 834s are nightly enrollment forms sent to insurers to tell them who their new customers are.

Some of the errors in the past forms were generated by the way people were using the system, another senior official on the project said, such as clicking twice on the confirmation button or moving backward and forward on the site.

Through more than a dozen bug fixes over the past week, the team has managed to reduce the instances of when data was not generated on 834 forms from 3 percent last week to 0.5 percent now, according to senior officials.

The Obamacare crew has credibility problems, so take those figures as you wish. They have zero incentive to report bad news, or problems with the system. Some of their most recent statements are already shown to be baloney:

Federal health officials announced Sunday that they had met that goal. By 6 p.m. Monday, the Web site had had close to 800,000 unique visitors -- one of the administration's targets for the site's performance -- and was set to pass that mark by the end of the day, according to administration officials. And the site processed 18,000 enrollments in the most recent 24-hour period, nearly double the previous record.

Still, not all was smooth. By mid-morning Monday, some Americans trying to use the Web site were running into a logjam. And by late morning, when the number of people on the site was roughly 35,000 -- or 15,000 fewer than administration officials had said it could handle -- some consumers encountered a "queue," a new feature intended for times when the site was too crowded. The feature limits the number of people on the site and notifies others by e-mail when it's a better time to log in.

Citizens have less than 3 weeks to sign up for insurance or pay a penalty. With the website problems still apparently unresolved, it will not be a merry Christmas for millions of Americans.