Report: Thousands of HealthCare.gov enrollment records haven’t reached insurers, but inaccuracies declining
December 14th, 2013
01:36 PM ET
12 months ago

Report: Thousands of HealthCare.gov enrollment records haven’t reached insurers, but inaccuracies declining

Updated 12/14/2013 at 3:01 p.m. ET

(CNN) – The Obama administration said Saturday that the rate of inaccuracies in a key enrollment records from HealthCare.gov is declining, but a federal analysis shows about 15,000 consumer sign up forms were never sent to insurance companies due to technical problems with the website.

Following the botched rollout of HealthCare.gov, the online enrollment tool for Americans to sign up for health insurance, Obama administration officials vowed to get the site working for the vast majority of users.

But since the October 1 site launch and start of open enrollment, insurers have reported issues with application forms known as 834 forms sent from HealthCare.gov to the insurance companies.

Julie Batallie, spokeswoman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the agency that oversees the site, said that between the October launch date and December 5, fewer than 15,000 consumers experienced issues with 834s.

“Since the beginning of December, missing 834s as a percentage of total enrollments has been close to zero,” she said in a blog post on the Department of Health and Human service website.

A graph accompanying the blog post shows missing 834 forms at its highest rate between October 13-26 at just over 15%. That rate has fallen to 0.38% between November 24 and December 5.

Americans must select a policy by December 23 and start paying premiums by December 31 in order to start coverage by January 1. With the deadline looming, HHS officials are concerned cases will emerge involving people who thought they signed up for coverage but are not actually enrolled.

According to Batallie, most of the problems occurred between the launch date and the first few weeks of November and improvements can be attributed to fixes applied in the end of the month. Over 70 software fixes CMS addressed in recent weeks have related to issues with 834 forms.

Officials said earlier this month that more than 80% of the mistakes on applications were caused by one bug that has now been addressed.

Robert Zirkelbach, spokesman for America's Health Insurance Plan, the professional association that represents the health insurance industry, said the data files sent this week "have helped to provide a more complete picture of the size and scope of the technical problems that have existed with the 'back end' enrollment processes."

"Helping consumers through the enrollment process to get the coverage they need is health plans' top priority," Zirkelbach continued. "The more focused, integrated process CMS put in place over the past two weeks to address the problems with the '834s' has made a difference and the enrollment files are getting better. There is still more work to do to ensure consumers are enrolled and health plans will continue to work with federal and state officials to get these issues resolved as quickly as possible."

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced an internal review of the website earlier this week ahead of an appearance before a House subcommittee.

The department also released the latest enrollment numbers showing nearly 365,000 people have signed up for Obamacare in its first two months - a far cry from the 7 million projected to ultimately enroll for 2014.

CNN’s Jim Acosta, Kevin Bohn and CNNMoney’s Tami Luhby contributed to this report.


Filed under: Health care • HHS • Obamacare
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. Stuffit

    Another day, another boondoggle in Obozoland. Wait until the news about what the Kenyan village idiot did to Medicare advantage hits, and then all those people who will be thrown off employer plans just before the elections next year.

    December 14, 2013 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  2. reggie53

    I am sure that is another lie being told to the American people so make it seem that things are on the right track and they are definitely not at all. Save this foolish reporting to people who have already drank the Obama Kool-Aid but I am not believing any of it. This healthcare law is no good and it will never be any good as far as I am concerned.

    December 14, 2013 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  3. ora pike

    until someone writes a check they are not enrolled-YOU CAN KEEP YOUR INSURANCE-but all this is meaningless–why? this is a socialist health care program that one day will have 100% of us on obamacare, all doctors will be paid by a hospital which is controlled by government, etc etc etc. So all this fighting over obamacare is a waste of time-like stopping hitler from taking poland--the law/// UNLESS YOUR POLICY IS APPROVED BY ME.

    December 14, 2013 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  4. simplyput

    So, there's still no cash register, but the data entry they got down.

    December 14, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  5. Mike in Texas

    As the bugs and kinks get worked out and the push for ACA enrollment continues the Republicans running on "Obamacare" may end up being a huge mistake. If I were Landrieu, Pryor and Hagan I would point to Kentucky as an example of a Presidential red state with a Democratic Governor who embraced the ACA. Show how many Kentuckians now have signed up and now have insurance as opposed to states with Republican Governors who decided not to set up exchanges. Show how Texas and Florida continue to have millions uninsured because their Governors would rather play politics than help out the residents of their states. It could end up being like GHWB in 91 and 92. Instead of trying to do something about the economy he tried to ride out his popularity over the Gulf War and he lost. Yes, Clinton only won with a plurality due to Perot but Bush still lost.

    December 14, 2013 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  6. barryinlasvegas

    Soon Obama and the Democrats are going to be looking worse than they do now because they didn't accept the Republican offer to delay implementation of Obamacare for one year. Instead they shut down the government – even when they knew the web site wasn't ready.

    The part that transfers payments to the insurance companies hasn't even been built yet. No pay – no insurance. It is way past time to dump this disaster.

    December 14, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  7. barryinlasvegas

    Soon Obama and the Democrats are going to look worse than they already do because they didn't take the Republicans offer to delay implantation of Obamacare for one year. Instead they decided to shut down the government.

    They don't even have the part that transfers payments to the insurance companies. No pay – no insurance. It is time to dump this disaster.

    December 14, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  8. Fair is fair

    Obama= complete failure

    December 14, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  9. Scott

    It would be great if, say, 2 or 3 people send in their $10 deposit on their first month's $50 premium, just to break the ice.

    December 14, 2013 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  10. rose54

    Who cat believe a word coming from this administration?

    December 14, 2013 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  11. Sheila

    YES, this is a disaster!!!!! A Train Wreck !!! Just wait till October 31st, a couple weeks away from the mid term elections, and see what the Insurance companies are planning on doing!!!!! They will "force" the issue!!! Once that happens, and practically over 1/2 of this country being "dropped" at that time, people will VOTE in a complete Congress, and it will be a Republican Congress!!! Thank the LORD !!!! When this happens, Obama's hands will be tied up, till we get somebody who knows how to run this country!!!

    December 14, 2013 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  12. RonL

    As a engineer who has worked in the privet sector for over twenty years let me tell ALL of you that are being so critical of the ACA launch. ALL NEW systems have difficulties the first three or four months, the difference here is in the private sector they run tests of the system 6 months in advance of it being released to the public!! Secretary Sibelius dropped the ball, embarrassed the President and should be removed from office in January. The web site issues will disappear in a fairly short period of time. The question before us now is will the Republicans succeed in convincing enough Americans not to sign up ? If they are successful it will prevent many of the potential cost savings to never materialize and it will effect us ALL negatively. We won't know that for about another 10 months.

    December 14, 2013 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  13. S. B. Stein

    With the decrease in errors, the law will be accepted more. What I will consistently ask is what is the Republican/conservative alternative and still await the answer. Until they offer a plan that can cover more people, they should be saying only ways to fix it. Is this law perfect? Clearly it isn't, but so many other countries have a national health insurance program that makes it harder for our country's companies to compete because they have to pay for one for the workers. If there was some mandatory program that covered everyone just a little bit, it would help companies because they wouldn't have to pay for it.

    December 14, 2013 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  14. Harold Richards

    Q: Why wasn't everything properly in place on October 1st?

    Q: Why wasn't everything working properly on the renewed deadline of December 1st?

    – If they could not manage a rollout if the website, an essential part of the overall Obamacare system, how can we expect them to handle the whole Obamacare system in rhe long run.

    – The constant "sugar-coating" of the situation does not properly prepare the public on the large effects these failures have in the near future (people registered for Obamacare plans that can't get treatment because their paperwork in incorrect or incomplete, the increase in costs due to processing incorrect claims and increased paperwork, health complications due to delayed treatment because of faulty paperwork, etc.)

    December 15, 2013 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  15. king

    its a shame that the biggest legislation accomplishment since the great new deal, only have one party pushing forward, and the other using their superior propaganda machine to trip it up at every turn. the repubs and big corporation combined, is kicking the hell out of this president and the less fortunates in this country. i always say that obama is over his head, trying to test the repubs and big corporations combination, because their propaganda machine is un matched through centuries. look at their humungus right winged radio stations that out numbers dems 20 to 1. the thing that amazes me, is that the dems is still revellent in our country, so this give me confidence that all Americans are not gullible, to give up their best interest, to support china's war machine, which what big corporations and repubs wants to do, because of the almighty dollar.

    December 15, 2013 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  16. bcrunner

    Good Luck to the Republicans if they think they can use Obamacare in next year's election. By that time most of the bugs will have been fixed and millions will have obtained insurance. I remember after my parents signed up for the prescription drug benefit, I went to get medications for them at the pharmacy and they didn't have any record that my parents had signed up... It was an inconvenience but it was fixed in time... My niece just signed up 2 days ago and got insurance at a reasonable price. She is young with a kidney condition. Nobody would insure her before and worried she would find herself in some county hospital one day. Personally, I thank God every day for Obamacare..

    December 15, 2013 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  17. truth hurts but reality bites

    Every day brings another Obamacare failure or problem. Do they even know who these 15,000 people are? Endless promises of fixing all the problems is getting ridiculous as they fix one problem, only to reveal two more problems. The saying about fecal matter and the tide comes to mind.

    In the end, for every person this law helps, it will hurt 10, with higher premiums, higher deductibles, doctor lose, hospital lose, very limited doctor/hospital networks, etc. Obama and the Democrats fixed a problem by making things worse for the majority of Americans. This was never done before. But Obama, Reid, Pelosi and the Democrats know better what is good for you and your family. They blather on and on about "choice" when it comes to woman and abortion, but then destroy choice for every single American when it comes to their healthcare.

    December 15, 2013 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  18. Mike in Texas

    @ Sheila,

    Ahh a Train Wreck. You have the right wing talking points down to a tee. Please tell me what Republicans are going to do if they get the house and Senate? What great things are they going to do? They aren't going to a have a veto proof majority in the Senate to override any Obama veto. They ran on jobs in 2010 and have done ZERO to improve jobs. Tax cuts to businesses don't create jobs. The Stock Market is at an all time high and yet where are all these jobs? They aren't there because there is no business need. I don't know what ideas Republicans have to help the economy. They cut taxes and increased spending during Bush yet I'm sure you said nothing. I am also sure you put TARP on Obama when it was signed by Bush. You do know that the biggest causes of our deficit is the Bush tax cuts, unfunded wars and Medicare Prescription D. None of those were passed by a Democratic controlled house, Senate or signed into law by a Democratic President. It amazes me that people think Republicans are fiscally responsible when they have created more towards our National Debt than Republicans.

    December 15, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  19. badtobone

    I will just pay the 95 dollar fine . It cheaper than the insurance.

    December 15, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  20. penguin

    I love how the Republicans claim the ACA is a socialist system. The insurance is private insurance provided by profit making insurance companies. Most states require car owners to buy automobile insurance, but somehow they don't claim that is socialistic. Most Repubs are also in favor of they Keystone pipeline, but don't complain it can only be built by the govt taking citizens property.

    December 15, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  21. Fair is fair

    Pay the fine and go to emergency room ! Yes we can!

    December 15, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  22. Namelinda

    I,M sick of people talking about it. A program of this magnitude takes time to implement. Remember Rome was not built overnight!

    December 15, 2013 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  23. king

    i am stunned with these repubs who wanted to privatize social security, medicare, medicaid, etc. they are barking how the privatization of obamacare is running the country, i wonder what they would have been saying if they had a chance to privatize our entitlements. i say single payer, but i guest we have to stick with the privatization of obacacare, and the money hungry insurance companies for now.

    December 15, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  24. jerrylax

    wait until those signing up who are getting tax credits to reduce their premiums find out next year they don't get a refund and in some cases OWE TAXES! There are still hidden aspects of this obama marxist scam yet to come to view. Oh how he has suckered the American people…and his polled approval is still 41%, amazing!

    December 15, 2013 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  25. badtobone

    Good , bad, ugly the Dems own obamacare there will be no running away from it.
    I see a even larger repeat of 2010 election s

    December 15, 2013 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
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