Nov 18 2013

Obamacare Cannot Enroll Enough People By January 2014 To Salvage Democrats

Published by at 3:06 pm under All General Discussions,Obamacare

Update: The Impossible just became Fictional:

TWS: If I don’t pick a plan until 12/15, won’t it be too late for my info to go to the insurance company, them to bill me, and me to make a payment by 12/21? Seems pretty tight.

[] Rep: You must make your first premium payment by 12/15/13 for your coverage to begin January 1, 2014. If you make your payment by the 21st, your coverage will begin in February 1, 2014.

Of course, if your not enrolled by 12/15 you will not be able to make a payment, so the real window here is  now around 4 weeks, Which as we see below, about enough time to get 30,000 more people enrolled. Which equals an epic fail with a double face plant – end update

The reason will not get well in time to avoid catastrophe is because right now, due to massive errors in the information gathered from enrollees, and errors introduced by the HHS SW, the process of enrolling people is pretty much manual.  And will remain manual well into December 2013.

So while millions of cancellation notices are going out to Americans who are losing their insurance come January 1, Obamacare cannot physically enroll them into new plans even. Which means most people tossed off their insurance by Obamacare will come out of this without coverage come January 2014.

The evidence and underlying numbers are brutal.

It starts with the errors being generated by Errors so extensive the process of cleaning them up so people can safely be enrolled is running at a fraction of the production level needed to keep up.

Let’s begin with the errors:

By October 16, some 3,000 paper applications were in the processing center but only “81 have been successfully entered.”

In a document full of figures and consultant-speak, one number stands out: 834. That’s the code for the final step in the process, when all the data entered is sent to the insurance company a user has chosen. It sets up the actual insurance policy and hands off responsibility to the company or organization running that plan.

But from the start, that data was not transferring correctly. “834 issue – Raised here as well – issuers not receiving 834s that they should be getting,” a contractor wrote on October 3. At one point no one could track whether the final 834 data entered by individuals was actually the same as the 834 data going out to insurers.

October 9: “A new problem in the system has been identified: for about 30% of the 70,000 applicants, the system has skipped applicants through ‘events’ that are required to complete the application.” In other words, nearly a third of applicants couldn’t fill out the form, because the website was skipping “events” or entries they needed to make.

3,000 submitted, 81 complete? Let’s connect some other dots here.  How many people were actually enrolled in the first 4-6 weeks of Obamacare?

Fewer than 27,000 Americans selected an insurance plan through the federal site, which is handling enrollment for 36 states.

So what was the applicant po0l if the 3,000:81 factor is even marginally close?

This is a very strange number based on the supposed daily capacity for the website.  When we look at capacity verses production there is an obvious gap:

Zients said his next priority is adding capacity to the system, which is currently handling 20,000 to 25,000 users at one time.

He noted that there were no unscheduled outages on the site in the past week, a positive sign, and that more than 60 bugs were recently fixed.

The call was not fully positive, however, as Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services spokeswoman Julie Bataille acknowledged that some insurers are still receiving flawed application data.

“We are actively working on with issuers … to put that fix in place as soon as possible,” Bataille said.

So how is it the site can handle 25,000 people at ant given moment on any given day, but only 27,000 people are enrolled after 4-6 weeks? What is the bottle neck?

Simple, the only way for applicants to become enrolled (and covered) is for the insurance companies to manually correct the data (I presume via some form of contact):

An 834 transmission contains enrollment data like an individual’s social security number, their dependents and the plan that they picked. That data is, obviously, critical: If it comes in wrong, an applicant may not get the right plan, or family members may not be covered, or identity may not be verifiable.

The 834 transmissions have begun filtering out to health insurance plans. The only problem? A lot of them are wrong.

The Wall Street Journal reported that one insurance plan got an 834 for a subscriber who, according to the data, had three spouses. This was surprising because the individual was not a polygamist. Two dependents had been incorrectly coded as spouses.

Others have gotten reports for people joining the plan, unenrolling and re-enrolling multiple times in the course of a week — or even the same day.

Right now, health-insurance plans say they can manage these problems. Few enough enrollment forms are coming in that they’re able to hand-check each one. “What our company, and I’m assuming others, are doing is throwing people at it,” one insurer told Wonkblog. “We’re overcoming the tech flaws with manual reviews and manual rigor and manual processes.

So what is happening? We are seeing an enormous backlog of applications and their respective 834s because of errors.  And if, as the reporting indicates, each applicant has 3-4 erroneous 834s attached to them, then the effort to manually work through all this is more than can be performed between now and the new year.

The gap here is mind boggling. 27,000 enrollees from a pool of applications that is probably more than 10 times that number.  H0w do I know the backlog is more than 10 times those manually processed? Simple, look at how many people HHS asked to reapply – probably to simply throw out that backlog of erroneous 834s and get some good information into the pipeline:

“Today, we’re beginning to send messages to those consumers who had account creation issues to let them know they can try again,” said Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Communications Director Julie Bataille. The agency, which will make the outreach to frustrated shoppers in waves, plans to send emails to about 270,000 people this week, she said.

So, 270,000 who had attempted to apply are being asked to come back and do it again. At a pace of 27,000 a month processed manually, you can see that would require 10+ months to work off just these people.

And that is even without new applicants adding to the backlog. As noted above:

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services spokeswoman Julie Bataille acknowledged that some insurers are still receiving flawed application data.

Just wait until the 90% of Americans on company plans lose their coverage in 2014! This backlog will look like paradise.

What is ridiculously impossible now will become tragically impossible next year.

And the Democrats, who own Obamacare from end to end, will reap the rewards.


4 responses so far

4 Responses to “Obamacare Cannot Enroll Enough People By January 2014 To Salvage Democrats”

  1. WWS says:

    And now, the best part is just starting to come out: in an interview today, Henry Chao, Obamacare’s top IT manager, let slip just how bad things really are:

    CHAO: Because we still have to build the payment systems to make payments to insurers in January.

    GARDNER: Let me get this correct. Sixty to 70 percent of still needs to be built? (later testimony indicated that he meant Thirty to Forty percent still isn’t built, which is of course unbelievable, 11 days before delivery!!!)

    CHAO: It’s not really about — it’s the federally-facilitated marketplace.

    GARDNER: The entire system that the American people are being required to rely upon…

    CHAO: — the online application, verification, determination, plan compare, getting enrolled, generating the enrollment transaction — that’s 100 percent there.

    As Ace Added:

    “Oh, you mean the colors, pictures, and fonts are 100% there. Wonderful. Thanks, Julia.”

    30-40% of the building still has to be done, including the payment system, which is crucial, because, see, without a payment system, you can’t actually purchase insurance.

    They’ve got 11 days to build 30-40% of the site, after not being able to do so after 3 1/2 years. And then, after they’ve built the remaining 30-40%, they expect, best case scenario, to have it working for 80% of users.

    Savor that – after 3 1/2 years, the top IT official in charge of the product, testified today that they are “Only” 30 to 40 percent away from completion.

  2. A_Nonny_Mouse says:

    { Note to self:

    Buy more popcorn. }

  3. oneal lane says:

    For the first time since November 2008, something goes our way.

    5 years of leftist chaos and distruction. 🙁

  4. […] “enrolled” and “covered”? The reporting on this is curious, as I noted before.  The number of people enrolled (verses applied) is very suspicious: By October 16, some 3,000 […]