Report: Obama administration handed out $434 million in improper Obamacare payments

Report: Obama administration handed out $434 million in improper Obamacare payments
Obama signing Obamacare into law (Image: YouTube screen grab)

[Ed. – Was it criminal or just incompetence? Take your pick.]

The Obama administration improperly paid out $434 million to Obamacare customers to pay down the cost of insurance in 2014, the first year the law’s health insurance marketplaces went online, a federal watchdog reported Monday.

Health and Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General released a report Monday that outlined the improper payments during Obamacare’s first year.

In a review of 140 health insurance policies sold in 2014, the inspector general found that Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services improperly paid out financial assistance payments for 26 policies.

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For the other five policies, CMS authorized possibly improper financial assistance to insurers that didn’t provide the right documentation.

CMS was using an interim process for approving financial assistance payments when the exchanges first went online, before moving to an automated system in 2016. The payments in question include income-based tax credits to customers to lower premiums and cost-sharing reductions paid to the insurer to lower out-of-pocket costs for low-income customers.

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