ObamaCare Errors Make Eligibility Difficult to Determine

By:  Raven Clabough
06/16/2014
       
ObamaCare Errors Make Eligibility Difficult to Determine

With consumer advocates voicing concerns that hundreds of thousands of people may need to repay some or all of their health insurance subsidies, the Obama administration now plans to contact thousands of those recipients of health subsidies to ensure that they are in fact eligible.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, each person who receives a subsidy will receive approximately $4,400.

While subsidies depend on household income and the number of people in a family seeking assistance, the New York Times reports on the various difficulties that the Department of Health and Human Services has in confirming the information provided, including family size. Likewise, it is also having a tough time checking information about employer-sponsored insurance.

A government document released last month indicates that at least two million people enrolled in taxpayer-subsidized private health insurance have data discrepancies.

The New York Times reports, "Of the eight million people who signed up for private health plans through insurance exchanges under the new healthcare law, two million reported personal information that differed from data in government records, according to federal officials and Serco, the company hired to resolve such inconsistencies."

As a result, the government will be asking these people for proof of their household income, citizenship, Social Security numbers, and immigration status in order to be sure that they are in fact eligible for their subsidies. They will also be obtaining information regarding any health coverage they may have from their employers.

As noted in the Times, the federal subsidies for the health insurance policies are a "cornerstone of the Affordable Care Act." Eight out of 10 people who have signed up for health plans through the exchanges have been determined to be eligible for subsidies including income tax credits. The federal government, or the taxpayers, have paid $4.7 billion in subsidies thus far, and that amount is expected to reach $900 billion over the next decade.

Fears that some recipients of the subsidies are not eligible for those subsidies has prompted consumer advocates to voice concerns that those recipients will have to repay the subsidies. 

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