Obamacare subsidies too high – or low – for a million subscribers

Obamacare subsidies too high – or low – for a million subscribers

[Ed. – Where’s Goldilocks when we need her?]

The government may be paying incorrect subsidies to more than 1 million Americans for their health plans in the new federal insurance marketplace and has been unable so far to fix the errors, according to internal documents and three people familiar with the situation. …

The government has identified these discrepancies but is stuck at the moment. Under federal rules, consumers are notified if there is a problem with their application and asked to upload or mail in pay stubs or other proof of their income. Only a fraction have done so, according to the documents. And, even when they have, the federal computer system at the heart of the insurance marketplace cannot match this proof with the application because that capability has yet to be built, according to the three individuals.

So piles of unprocessed “proof” documents are sitting in a federal contractor’s Kentucky office, and the government continues to pay insurance subsidies that may be too generous or too meager. Administration officials do not yet know what proportion are overpayments or underpayments. Under current rules, people receiving unwarranted subsidies will be required to return the excess next year. …

Because the computer capability does not yet exist, the work will start by hand, according to two people familiar with the plans. It will focus at first not on income questions, but on another roughly 1 million cases in which people enrolled — or tried to enroll — in health plans and ran into questions about their citizenship status.

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