A new glitch in the Obamacare website Healthcare.gov has blocked attempts by many low income citizens to sign up for health insurance. The administration was recently notified of a website error that was giving “not eligible” notices to people with income only slightly above the poverty line. This was because the website was not referencing the correct year to assess the income information. It was using 2013 poverty line levels instead of the updated figures for 2014.
The glitch occurred while customers were shopping for plans, but before they had officially applied. If a citizen had ignored the notice and attempted to apply anyway, the glitch would not have affected the determination of their claim. However, the ineligible notice may have deterred many shoppers from attempting to apply.
This error was fixed on Healthcare.gov, but may still be causing problems on other websites at the state level. Residents of states that have not yet implemented the medicare expansion, and have an income within 400 percent of the poverty line, are the ones who are affected. The healthcare websites of those states rely on Healthcare.gov for their information. Other states have independently operated websites and are less likely to have been affected.
Tens of thousands of people could have been affected by this error, causing them to erroneously believe that they are not eligible for any of the Obamacare plans. This glitch started in the middle of February and continued for five weeks before finally being corrected.
The department is drafting a letter that will go out to all applicants asking them to reapply at the state’s own Michigan Bridges website.
“We’re working on contacting all of the individuals who have been told they may be eligible for Medicaid in Michigan through the federal exchange,” said Minicuci. “We’re asking them to reapply so that we can process them and determine if indeed they are eligible. There’s a good chance many of them are already in the program.”
The fact that the Obamacare Website Glitch was spotted just this week raises obvious questions about the stability of the website.
“It is almost impossible to work back from a decision and see what they did,” Judy Solomon, vice president for health policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington, D.C., told the Inquirer.
She added there should be a notice for consumers that says, “We have found that your income for 2014 will be X, and based on that income your tax credit will be Y.”
“The window shopping tool on the learn side of HealthCare.gov is intended only to be used as an unofficial estimate that consumers can use before completing their application, which is where they get their official determination,” spokesman Aaron Albright said. “We encourage consumers to complete their Marketplace application, where they will get an accurate determination of their tax credits.”
Obamacare Website Glitch Erroneously Tells Thousands They are Ineligible For Coverage
Obamacare Website Glitch