Policy: Technology

White House: We will make sure Obamacare forms are accurate by Jan. 1

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Politics,White House,Barack Obama,Obamacare,Health Care,PennAve,Susan Crabtree,Jay Carney,Healthcare.gov,Technology

The White House tried to reassure those who have already signed up for Obamacare that website bugs will not prevent them from being covered come January.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Tuesday that an outside contractor is working with a team of experts to ensure that all the forms are accurate and accounted for so that those who believed they had successfully signed up on the federal health care exchanges are actually enrolled.

“The contractor and the insurers are working together and make sure that every [form] — past and present — is accurate,” he said.

Computer-generated errors have affected roughly one-third of consumers who have signed-up on the federal health care exchanges since their launch Oct. 1, the Washington Post reported Tuesday.

The errors have led to confusion about who has actually signed up and paid for health care insurance, whether they have duplicate enrollments and whether their plans have been canceled either for them or for their family members.

A spokeswoman for the Centers on Medicare and Medicaid Services on Monday said those who have signed up should “absolutely” contact their insurers to confirm they are actually enrolled.

When speaking to reporters Tuesday, Carney would not confirm the report that roughly one-third of consumers who signed up were affected by the website bugs and may not actually be enrolled.

He said QSSI, the contractor chosen for earlier work on the website and is working on fixing its problems, and the administration has “stood up a team of experts” to make sure every 834 form is accurate.

Because so few people were successful in signing up for Obamacare over the last two months, Carney said the “universe of people with the 834 problems isn't particularly large.”

The 834 form refers to a technical, back-end reporting tool that is meant to be read by computers. It is the same form that tells the insurer's system exactly who signed up, their personal information and which plan they chose.

Since the Oct. 1 launch, insurers have reported that the 834s are coming in garbled or inaccurate, presenting a much more serious long-term problem than the website glitches that caused the site to crash and created huge technical hurdles for those looking to enroll online.

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