Obamacare Website's Unbuilt Appeals and Errors System Causing Chaos
by Wynton Hall 3 Feb 2014, 8:09 AM PDT
The Obamacare website is unable to fix entry mistakes or handle appeals for incorrect or denied coverage and subsidies because the government has yet to build the systems necessary to handle them.
A Washington Post investigation published on Sunday revealed that roughly 22,000 Americans have filled out seven-page paper appeals forms and mailed them to the federal government for putting them in the wrong plans, billing them incorrectly, or denying them coverage altogether. Those individuals may be waiting a long time, however, since the government has yet to even build an appeals and error corrections system for handling Obamacare mistakes.
"There is no indication that infrastructure...necessary for conducting informal reviews and fair hearings has even been created, let alone become operational," wrote National Health Law Program attorneys in a late-December letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
The Washington Post reported that "the Obama Administration has not made public the fact that the appeals system for the online marketplace is not working." Furthermore, no one has any idea when such a system will be built because "it is not among the top priorities."
The Obamacare website's failure to handle and correct errors has sparked costly chaos for enrollees. Addie Wilson of West Virginia told the Post her Obamacare plan is charging her $100 a month more than it should and has set her deductible over $4,000 higher than what she should have received.
"It is definitely frustrating and not fair," said Wilson.
The government is telling people they can try to reenroll. Such advice offers individuals like Wilson little solace.
"Starting over would not help Addie Wilson, for example, because she has already begun to pay for her new insurance and would have no way to get her money back," reports the Post.