Feds struggle with health law data troubles

A new report from the Inspector General at the Department of Health and Human Services says the Obama Administration has been struggling for months to resolve data discrepancies involving millions of signups for coverage under the Obama health law - and that 2.6 million "inconsistencies" weren't fixed as of the first quarter of 2014.

"During the period of our review, marketplaces were unable to resolve most inconsistencies, which they reported most commonly as citizenship and income," the HHS IG reported.

"The federal marketplace was generally incapable of resolving most inconsistencies," as the study noted 44% of the data disagreements dealt with citizenship and 33% with questions of income and eligibility for government aid to purchase health coverage. 5% dealt with Social Security numbers that did not match.

"As of the first quarter of 2014, the Federal marketplace was unable to resolve about 2.6 million of 2.9 million inconsistencies because the CMS eligibility system was not fully operational."

You can read the full report at the HHS OIG website.

The report noted that it wasn't only the federal government having difficulties figuring out data discrepancies, as Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon and Vermont were unable to resolve any troubles - other states though reported no issues at all.

The Inspector General recommended the feds "develop and make public" a plan on resolving data discrepancies, as well as do oversight on state exchanges to check on their ability to deal with data troubles.

In a response, federal officials said they are "working expeditiously" to resolve such problems.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.

About the Author