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POLITICS: PennAve

CMS, insurers 'working together closely' to fix healthcare.gov back-end

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Politics,White House,Obamacare,Health Care,PennAve,Meghashyam Mali,Healthcare.gov,Health Care Exchanges

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and two top trade groups with the health insurance industry on Wednesday said they were “working together closely” to resolve back-end issues with the Obamacare website that threaten to delay Americans from receiving coverage.

In a joint statement, CMS, America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) — the top trade lobby for health insurers — and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association said that ensuring that all Americans receive coverage is a “top priority for all of us.”

“We are working together closely to resolve back-end issues between health plans and healthcare.gov,” said the statement.

“This is a very focused effort that is being driven by a team of experts from CMS, key outside contractors working closely with health plan representatives and overseen by CMS’s general contractor, Optum/QSSI,” it added. “We will report on our progress.”

The statement came after health insurers voiced concern publically that technical problems on the back-end of the healthcare.gov website were unresolved.

The website has been plagued with problems since its launch, undercutting public support for the health care law and leading to enrollment figures far short of administration expectations.

While the administration says the site is now functioning properly for the “vast majority” of consumers, insurers say they are experiencing problems with so-called “834 forms” that transmit information about enrollees and what plans they have signed up for. Many of those forms were incomplete and inaccurate, insurers say.

Earlier Wednesday, CMS spokesperson Julie Bataille said that a “majority of the issues that caused inaccuracies previously have been resolved” and that the agency was “actively working” with insurers to review the fixes. But CMS has declined to reveal the scope of the problem, refusing to share the error rate for 834 forms or the rationale for not releasing that data.

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