Thousands of Obamacare Enrollees Still Lack Coverage
Policy + Politics

Thousands of Obamacare Enrollees Still Lack Coverage

REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Thousands of Americans who bought health insurance through Obamacare’s exchanges are still without coverage due to a spate of technical problems with the enrollment systems.

Despite paying their first month’s premiums, some people in states with their own exchanges like California, Nevada and Massachusetts, have learned that they don’t have health insurance, forcing them to delay treatments or pay out of pocket expenses, The Wall Street Journal first reported.

Related: Government Struggling to Fix Obamacare Errors

Though it is unclear how many people have been affected by the enrollment issues, The Journal says it is likely just a fraction of the 8 million who signed up for coverage on both the state and federal exchanges.

Other enrollment issues that have sprouted up involve people who have made coverage requests because of “life events” like a job change or a marriage. Many of these people are reporting that their requests have not been completed---meaning some have no coverage while others are forced to pay for insurance they no longer need.

Minnesota, for example, has a backlog of 6,500 requests for coverage changes for life events, according to The Journal. Meanwhile, Oregon is working on processing 8,200 of its own requests.

This is just the latest in the saga of Obamacare’s enrollment issues that have cropped up since last fall’s rocky rollout, which was plagued with technical glitches. 

Related: A Million Americans Get Wrong Obamacare Subsidies 

Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General released a report detailing serious problems with the exchanges’ verification system, which determines whether enrollees are eligible for subsidies. 

The IG noted that there were nearly 3 million “inconsistencies” on Obamacare applications—most of which stemmed from income and citizenship statuses. About nine out of 10 of the inconsistencies have yet to be resolved, the auditors said. 

HHS officials are in the process of fixing the problems, however they warned it will be a time consuming process, since they are doing much of the work manually. 

Still the problems come at a bad time for the White House, when they are dealing with other issues that could threaten the heath care law’s very survival.

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