The Affordable Care Act had a rocky start this past October causing concerns for many regarding the effectiveness and implementation of the program. The multiple website crashes along with the extension of application deadlines, may have resulted in some website and database issues recently reported by a watchdog report. The full report shows that there are 330,000 inconsistencies in consumer reported data that have been unresolved. The website issues from October to December are reportedly the cause of the data problems. The report reveals that there were 2.9 million issues in the healthcare.gov database. However, only 2.6 million of those data inconsistencies have been resolved.
So what does this really mean?
- Errors in the healthcare.gov database may reveal that some people received subsidies who were not eligible. Thus, they may be forced to pay back subsidy costs when filing taxes in 2015.
- Eligibility to receive healthcare benefits and subsidies may be jeopardized. Many of the reported problems dealy with citizenship and income information that differed from government records. Thus, people who were predetermined as eligible to enroll in healthcare may no longer be able to.
This issue is one of the primary problems the new Health and Human Services Secretary, Sylvia Matthews Burwell, will be facing prior to the next open enrollment period in October.
The law states that there is an option for extending the initial 90-day period in order to clean up any discrepancies in the data moving forward. Many state run exchanges will be looking into this option since they have been unable to resolve the issues.