HHS ‘hand-matching' applications: Sebelius

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is manually fixing thousands of flawed enrollment transmissions sent from HealthCare.gov to insurance companies in October and November, Congress was told Wednesday.
 
"We are in the process of actually hand-matching individuals to insurance companies,” Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in testimony to the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
 

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Last week, after weeks of pressure from journalists, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) said that as much as 25 percent of enrollment transmissions sent from the federal portal to insurers were either garbled or contained bad data.
 
The department announced Wednesday that that more than 30,000 applications might need to be re-evaluated before the end of the year.
 
The problem creates the need for federal health officials to reconcile individual enrollment records with a long list of insurers in a process one official described as "very intensive."
 
The CMS says the error rate has been reduced to about one in 10 now. However, the administration is expecting millions to flood the exchanges in weeks leading up to the Dec. 23 and March 31 deadlines, which could create thousands of more documents that need to be reconciled.
 
The process represents the next hurdle for the CMS as it seeks to ensure that every recent applicant at HealthCare.gov can use their coverage starting next year. 

Without a fully functioning system, policyholders will encounter problems and could be unsure if they’re covered by the insurance they believe they’ve purchased, creating another firestorm for the administration.