Monday, April 20, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Report: Health law sign-ups dogged by data flaws

By
From page A10 | July 02, 2014 |

WASHINGTON — Many of the 8 million Americans signed up under the new health care law now have to clear up questions about their personal information that could affect their coverage.

A government watchdog said Tuesday the Obama administration faces a huge task resolving these “inconsistencies” and in some cases didn’t follow its own procedures for verifying eligibility.

Two reports from the Health and Human Services inspector general marked the first independent look at a festering behind-the-scenes issue that could turn into another health law headache for the White House.

The inspector general found that key personal details submitted by many consumers — such as annual income and citizenship — do not match records the government has on file.

It also found shortcomings in the internal safeguards used by the federal insurance exchange and some state marketplaces to check the accuracy of consumer information.

Those personal details are critical because they determine whether an individual is eligible for taxpayer-subsidized health insurance, as well as subsidies for monthly premiums.

Digging out from under the data problem is one of the top challenges facing newly installed HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell.

The administration says it is doing just that. Spokesman Aaron Albright said more than 425,000 inconsistencies have been resolved so far, more than 90 percent of those in favor of the consumer. The administration is hoping to clear up the majority of cases this summer, but may yet have to resort to an extension allowed under the health law.

The inspector general found that the federal insurance exchange reported a total of 2.9 million inconsistencies with consumer data from Oct. 1, 2013 through Feb. 23 of this year.

At the time, the administration had limited technical capability that would have let officials resolve roughly 330,000 of those cases. Only about 10,000 were actually cleared up within the period. Albright said the situation is much improved.

The inspector general said several states running their own insurance markets were having similar problems.

Most discrepancies dealt with citizenship and income information supplied by consumers that conflicted with what the federal government has on record.

The inspector general said efforts by the administration and states to clear up questions were complicated by lingering computer problems, including outages at the federal data hub, a key system that pings agencies like Social Security and the Internal Revenue Service for verification.

The inspector general’s inquiry was requested by congressional Republicans as a condition of ending the budget standoff that partially shut down the government last fall. Republicans say they are concerned that people who are not legally entitled to the law’s government-subsidized health insurance could nonetheless be getting it.

“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.”

The inspector general stopped short of drawing sweeping conclusions.

“Inconsistencies do not necessarily indicate that an applicant provided inaccurate information … or is receiving financial assistance through insurance affordability programs inappropriately,” the report said.

However, the watchdog office called on the administration to publicly explain how and by what date it will resolve the data problems in the 36 states where Washington is operating new insurance markets.

In a written response, Medicare chief Marilyn Tavenner said the administration concurs with the recommendations and is working on a plan, calling the problems “not surprising.”

The inspector general also found that:

—Early on, the government’s eligibility system was “not fully operational.” As a consequence, even if a consumer supplied the appropriate documentation, officials were not able to close the case.

—States running their own insurance markets had a mixed record of dealing with eligibility problems. Of the 15, including Washington, D.C., seven said they cleared up problems without delay. Four said they were unable to resolve inconsistencies.

—Most of the data discrepancies in the federal market had to do with citizenship and immigration status. Only citizens and legal immigrants can receive coverage under the law. Income was the next category, in many cases because the most recent tax returns on file with the IRS were for 2012 and reflected outdated information.

—The federal insurance exchange didn’t always verify Social Security numbers through the Social Security Administration, as required by its own internal safeguards. The California marketplace didn’t always verify citizenship and legal presence through Homeland Security.

Last month, The Associated Press reported that 2.1 million people enrolled for coverage under the health law had at least one data discrepancy as of April 28. That information came from an administration document provided to the news service.

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 2 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Articles

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    Solano News

     
    Residents roll dice for scholarship dollars

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
     
    Celebrate Rush Ranch’s 25th annual open house

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

    Standalone: Egrets move into Dover Park

    By Steve Reczkowski | From Page: A3, 6 Comments | Gallery

     
    Jelly Belly to celebrate National Jelly Bean Day

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

     
    Speaking event set to motivate students

    By Susan Winlow | From Page: A3

    Pet adoptions popular at home, garden show

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

     
    Local government to conduct public’s business

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

    Nonprofits don’t tap into beer garden offer

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

     
    Fairfield police log: April 18, 2015

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A9

     
    Suisun City police log: April 18, 2015

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A9

    Biz Buzz: Watson makes partner at law firm

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

     
    Biz Buzz: Visit Vacaville announces tourism dinner

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A10

    Biz Buzz: Retail space sells in Dixon

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

     
    Weather for Monday, April 20, 2015

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B12

    .

    US / World

     
    California delta smelt survey turns up only 1 fish

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 4 Comments

    Officials: Cooking fire started California wildfire

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

     
    Pill-taking can be less yucky for kids, study review finds

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Empty chairs honor 168 victims of Oklahoma City bombing

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Reagan shooter finds rejection, indifference in future home

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

     
    Tank named “Beautiful Bulldog” in Iowa contest

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

    Video: Islamic State kills Ethiopian Christians in Libya

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

     
    Report: Kuwait discovers 4 new oil fields in kingdom

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

    Survivor: Smugglers locked hundreds in hold of capsized boat

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

     
    .

    Living

    Community Calendar: April 20, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

     
    Today in history: Monday, April 20, 2015

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Horoscopes: April 20, 2015

    By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B6

     
    Randall: When mothers need to pray for themselves

    By Sharon Randall | From Page: B8

     
    Horoscopes: April 21, 2015

    By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B8

    .

    Entertainment

    TVGrid

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A10

     
    Select winners from the 50th annual ACM Awards

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

    ‘Furious 7′ speeds ahead of the competition

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

     
    TVGrid

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

    Lambert wins 4, but Luke Bryan take top prize at ACM Awards

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

     
    Bobby Brown tells concert goers his ailing daughter is awake

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

    .

    Sports

    Matt Kenseth ends 51-race drought with win at rainy Bristol

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Slumping Giants drop 9th in 10 games, 5-1 to Diamondbacks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Athletics furious after 4-2 loss and 5 Royals’ ejections

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Pelicans’ Tyreke Evans questionable for Game 2 vs. Warriors

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Pelicans’ Anthony Davis more comfortable heading into Game 2

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Hamilton wins Bahrain GP ahead of Raikkonen and Rosberg

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Toronto GM Masai Ujiri and team fined for expletive

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Can Bryant live up to expectations as next rookie star?

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Ohio State’s Ezekiel Elliott wins AAU Sullivan Award

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Scott Dixon wins Grand Prix of Long Beach

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Djokovic beats Berdych in Monte Carlo Masters final

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    AP Sources: Tim Tebow expected to sign with Eagles on Monday

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Sei Young Kim holes out from fairway to win in Hawaii

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Volvo Ocean Race fleet sets out on 6th leg toward US

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Thailand’s Kiradech wins Shenzhen in playoff

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    For Boston winner Meb Keflezighi, a year of thanks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    Browne wins rain-shortened Greater Gwinnett Championship

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Jim Furyk tops Kevin Kisner in playoff to win RBC Heritage

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    For Pelicans and Bucks, there were lessons in Game 1 losses

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    CP3, Griffin lead Clippers past Spurs 107-92 in opener

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    Grizzlies never trail, rout Trail Blazers 100-86 in Game 1

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

    Korver scores 21, Hawks hold off pesky Nets 99-92 in Game 1

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    “Big 3″ lead Cavaliers past Celtics 113-100 in Game 1

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    This date in sports history for April 20

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

    .

    Business

    Researcher denied flight after tweet poking United security

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Frances Bayona Lozano

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    Dennis Burkhart von Ting

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics

    Baby Blues April 20

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Frank and Ernest April 20

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Get Fuzzy April 20

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Blondie April 20

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Pickles April 20

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Sally Forth April 20

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Zits April 20

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Dilbert April 20

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Garfield April 20

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    B.C. April 20

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    For Better or Worse April 20

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Rose is Rose April 20

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Bridge April 20

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Wizard of Id April 20

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Baldo April 20

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Beetle Bailey April 20

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Word Sleuth April 20

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

     
    Peanuts April 20

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

    Sudoku April 20

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

     
    Cryptoquote April 20

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

    Crossword April 20

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

     
    Baby Blues April 21

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

    Zits April 21

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

     
    For Better or Worse April 21

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

    Pickles April 21

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

     
    Dilbert April 21

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7, 1 Comment

    Get Fuzzy April 21

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

     
    Sally Forth April 21

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

    Garfield April 21

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

     
    Peanuts April 21

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

    B.C. April 21

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

     
    Rose is Rose April 21

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

    Wizard of Id April 21

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

     
    Blondie April 21

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

    Frank and Ernest April 21

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

     
    Beetle Bailey April 21

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

    Baldo April 21

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

     
    Cryptoquote April 21

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B8

    Word Sleuth April 21

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B8

     
    Sudoku April 21

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B8

    Crossword April 21

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B8