HHS Announces Obamacare Website Fix One Week Before Deadline
(WASHINGTON) -- The Obama administration announced on Saturday that a major glitch on the back-end of the federal online health insurance marketplace has been resolved. The Department of Health and Human Services says HealthCare.gov is now successfully generating 834 forms — the critical documents that get sent to an insurance company to finalize enrollment — for nearly everyone who signs up.
Missing 834 forms as a percentage of total enrollments is now reportedly 0.38% -- a significant improvement from mid-October, when as many as 15% were never generated or sent to insurers, leaving consumers in limbo.
Between Oct. 1 and Dec. 5 "fewer than 15,000" Americans experienced missing 834 forms, the administration says. Government contractors and CMS officials have been scrambling to reach those individuals and help them re-apply since their original enrollments were never completed with the selected insurer because of the technical problems.
The announcement comes with just over a week to go before the Dec. 23rd Obamacare sign-up deadline for coverage that's effective Jan. 1.
While ensuring 834s are generated for each applicant is a key fix, problems remain with the 834 data itself. Insurers have complained that many of the forms they receive contain garbled, incomplete or duplicate information. That has also hampered enrollments.
An HHS official declined to answer ABC News' questions about the latest error rate in 834 forms or how many people may still be effected. In October and November, as many as 1 in 4 applicants had flawed enrollment forms, officials have said. The most recent estimate for December is 1 in 10. Data released last week suggest as many as 35,000 Americans' applications could be in limbo because of the problems.
CMS is currently "hand-matching" 834 forms with marketplace data, calling and emailing consumers, trying to sort out the mess. They encourage anyone who thinks they enrolled in a health plan through the marketplace since October to call their insurance company ASAP to make sure they are enrolled.
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