Health Highlights: June 5, 2014

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Many 'Inconsistencies' in Obamacare Sign-Ups: Report

A new government document finds that more than a quarter of the 8 million people who signed up for coverage under the Obama Administration's new health care law have "inconsistencies" in the data they supplied.

As reported by the Associated Press, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) documents obtained by the news agency show discrepancies between information supplied by at least 2.1 million new enrollees and data already on file with the federal government. Most of these discrepancies involve issues such as citizenship, immigration and income, the AP said.

Income discrepancies accounted for about 1.2 million cases, while immigration data issues affected 505,000 and conflicts with citizenship information involved 461,000, the AP reported.

The problem is creating a logjam of paperwork for the government, but officials say they hope to have most of that cleared later this summer. Julie Bataille, communications coordinator for the launch of the new health care reform package, said many of the inconsistencies are tied to outdated information in government files.

"The fact that a consumer has an inconsistency on their application does not mean there is a problem on their enrollment," Bataille told the AP. "Most of the time what that means is that there is more up-to-date information that they need to provide to us."

However, the AP noted that the 2.1 million figure doesn't include people who signed on to Obamacare via state-run websites, so the number of problematic enrollments might be much higher.

About 5.4 million people signed up through the federal website, while 2.6 million more enrolled through state-run websites.

Consumers whose applications have been flagged as having discrepancies will be notified by the HHS with a request for new or updated information. Right now, there is a 90-day window in place to clear up any discrepancies, but the Obama administration has the option to extend that window, the AP said.

Posted: June 2014


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