ObamaCare subsidies may be wrong

The government may be handing out too much or not enough money in healthcare subsidies to more than 1 million people, according to a report by The Washington Post.

Citing internal documents and people familiar with the matter, the newspaper said that people who listed different incomes on their insurance applications and IRS documents could be getting the wrong amount of subsidies.

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While the government can contact those people to get them to correct their records, it is stuck waiting for their response. Even once they have gotten back to the feds, the government cannot update their information because the ability to match the proof with the application has not yet been built.

That failure is a symptom of the rampant technologic troubles and glitches that have plagued ObamaCare from the start. Even while HealthCare.gov has been fixed in recent months, many of the behind-the-scenes operations are still not up to speed.

Starting this weekend, officials are ramping up their efforts to deal with the problems in people’s reports, such as their incomes. For now, the work will start by hand, the Post reported, since the computing power does not yet exist.

A spokeswoman with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services could not confirm the numbers cited by the Post, but detailed the work the agency was doing to try and stamp out bad reporting.

“We’re working every day to make sure individuals and families get the tax credits they deserve and that no one is receiving a tax credit they shouldn’t,” Julie Bataille said in a statement to The Hill.

“An inconsistency does not mean there is a problem with a consumer’s enrollment. It means that the consumer has attested that they have more information to provide to support their application for coverage and we are working through these cases expeditiously.”

Under the Affordable Care Act, people can get subsidies to help pay for health insurance. But those subsidies depend on people’s reports about what they earn.

If they report something different on the healthcare marketplace than what they tell the IRS, they could end up with too much or not enough money.

According to current regulations, people who receive too much in subsidies are required to pay the extra amount back next year. 

This story was updated at 6:25 p.m.