ObamaCare Appeals Process: Yet Another Failure

By:  Raven Clabough
02/03/2014
       
ObamaCare Appeals Process: Yet Another Failure

Thousands of consumers who have signed up for a health plan through Healthcare.gov experienced significant errors that the government has not yet been able to fix. 

A government internal document revealed that approximately 22,000 people have filed appeals for errors they experienced during the enrollment process, but the appeals have gone unanswered.

Most of the appeals state that enrollees were charged too much for health insurance when signing up for the federal online marketplace, or that they were steered into the wrong program, or that the coverage was denied.

According to state Medicaid officials and those at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, consumers are dealing with what have been dubbed “loopers.” These are instances where individuals apply for health coverage and are told that they qualify for Medicaid, but when those individuals report to their state Medicaid agency, they are told that they in fact do not qualify for Medicaid and must pursue private health insurance through the marketplace.

A letter from the National Health Law Program cites other issues. For example, a North Carolina family was declared eligible for subsidies to purchase private policies and told that their son was eligible for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), but that their daughter was eligible for nothing.

It appears, however, that these issues will not be addressed in the near future. The Washington Post reports, “For now, the appeals are sitting, untouched, inside a government computer. And an unknown number of consumers who are trying to get help through less formal means — by calling the healthcare marketplace directly — are told that HealthCare.gov’s computer system is not yet allowing federal workers to go into enrollment records and change them.”

Naturally, consumers are experiencing frustration.

One consumer, Addie Wilson, 27, earns $22,000 per year doing social work. Wilson asserts that she is paying $100 a month more for her health insurance than she should be and that her deductible is $4,000 too high.

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