Oops! Washington State Erred On 8K Obamacare Cost Estimates

Officials in the state of Washington have some explaining to do after their Obamacare exchange gave 8,000 applicants erroneous cost estimates. Of course, the estimates they gave out were on the low side, so those effected are in for some sticker shock.

The exchange identified the root cause of the miscalculation in late October — by the third week of open enrollment on the exchange website, called Washington Healthplanfinder. The exchange went public about the errors Oct. 25.

Since then, the exchange has been recalculating the premium subsidies for people who were told they qualified for a tax credit. The letters, set to go out next week, will have the proper credit, according to the exchange. [...]

 

The miscalculation of the federal tax credit affected those who enrolled in an exchange health plan during the first few weeks after the exchange’s Oct. 1 launch.

For those few weeks, Healthplanfinder was submitting applicants’ monthly income to the federal hub, which compiles data from federal and state agencies to determine whether an applicant is eligible for Medicaid or for a premium subsidy to purchase a health plan through the exchange.

But the federal hub was expecting annual income, not monthly, which resulted in the miscalculation.

Approximately 8,000 Washington residents were affected, which meant they were told they qualified for a higher tax credit amount than they actually qualified for based on their income and household size.

How could such an error occur? “We’ve asked ourselves that many times,” Onizuka said. “We are still trying to figure out how this happened.” (Read More)

That they are still trying to figure out how it happened should be cause for concern. Good grief.