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MAJOR FAIL: 99 percent of Obamacare applications invalid

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
October 6th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The United States rushed to participate in health care reform - only to see the vast majority of their applications bounced back. Several insurance industry sources say as few as one in 100 applications on the federal exchange contains enough information to enroll the applicant in a plan. Part of this troubling average is due to the fact the exchange's software collects and verifies an applicant's data.  

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "It is extraordinary that these systems weren't ready," Sumit Nijhawan, CEO of Infogix says. Infogix handles data integrity issues for major insurers such as WellPoint and Cigna, in addition to multiple Blue Cross Blue Shield affiliates.

If Healthcare.gov's accuracy doesn't improve within the next month, federal officials could be faced in January in which relatively large numbers of people who think they have coverage starting that month - but whose applications are have not been processed.

"It could be public relations nightmare," Nijhawan says. Insurers have told his Infogix that just "one in 100" enrollment applicants being sent from the federal marketplace have provided sufficient, verified information.

One insurer reported a more optimistic, but still miniscule rate of enrollment applications containing enough data to process for coverage. "It's about half of what we've received," a source at that insurer said. "We're getting incomplete data-about half of the applications we haven't been able to process," said the source.

Many officials are recommending people go to call centers to get information, which means the people in every batch who haven't provided enough, correct information must be contacted for additional data. The public must become pro-active to qualify for the insurance that they want to buy, experts say.

This could significantly burden a system already bogged down by high numbers of people trying to view prices and enrollment forms on Healthcare.gov.

The Department of Health and Human Services said in a press release that "traffic on the Web site and at the call center continues to be high" with 8.6 million unique web visitors since Tuesday, and that "two-thirds" of those visitors "accessed the marketplace to begin their application and shop for plans."

"To make further improvements to the system, we will be taking down the application part of the website for scheduled maintenance during off-peak hours over the weekend," the release said. "The enhancements we are making will enable more simultaneous users to successfully create an account and move through the application and plan shopping process."

"One hundred people submit their application, one of them goes all the way through the processing ... a big chunk of them are being held," Infogix Chief Product Officer Bobby Koritala said. "They need to get more clarifying information."

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