Health reform implementation

Glitch flubs prices on O-Care exchange

About 8,000 Washington state residents were told they qualified for more generous tax subsidies than they would actually receive when they enrolled for ObamaCare via their state’s online marketplace.

A technical glitch meant the Washington website sent the applicants’ monthly income to a federal hub instead of their yearly income, according to a report in The Seattle Times.

Based on that incorrect information, consumers were told they qualified for higher tax credits and would pay less for their health insurance.

{mosads}That led many enrollees in the Washington exchange to select generous insurance plans they likely wouldn’t be able to afford once their subsidies are reduced.

Those 8,000 individuals likely would need to go through the entire application process again to see what plans at what prices they qualify for under the correct tax subsidy.

“We are still trying to figure out how this happened,” exchange CEO Richard Onizuka told the paper.

The revelation is the latest in a string of technical mishaps to plague early enrollment in the ObamaCare exchanges. The federal website — which processes applications for residents of the 38 states that do not run their own portals like Washington does — is still reporting errors and glitches. czar Jeffrey Zients told reporters on Friday the website was a “long way from where it needs to be.”

The 8,000 individuals who will have to go through the enrollment process again will also likely trigger additional concern over what appear to be lagging early enrollment figures.

Consulting firm Avalere Health estimated that fewer than 50,000 individuals had signed up for coverage on the exchanges of Washington and 11 other states. The 8,000 individuals affected by the technical error represent more than 15 percent of that total.

White House press secretary Jay Carney admitted last week that “enrollment figures will be even lower than the low numbers that were anticipated” because of sustained technical problems with the ObamaCare website.

Tags Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

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