Anyone who already bought coverage via Healthcare.gov should check with their insurer to make sure everything is correct and in order.

The Obama administration has been quite cagey and secretive about their problems with the back end of Healthcare.gov but the New Republic recently got a nice scoop. Apparently the error rate with the information sent to the insurers via 834 transactions is now down to only 10 percent. From Jonathan Cohn:

But the 834 problem is fixable and, according to multiple sources in the public and private sectors, it is being fixed. In fact, one administration official tells The New Republic that preliminary estimates, just now becoming available, suggest the error rate has fallen from one in four during October to one in ten now. And most of those are files insurers received with errors, as opposed to files insurers never received. Plenty of work remains—namely, completing repairs that reduce the error rate further and dealing with the flawed data insurers have already received. But the administration is working with insurers and contractors on both issues.

That is technically a big improvement, but still a lousy error rate. Now it is clear why the administration has been keeping such a huge screw-up secret.

Several million people are expected to buy insurance next year via Healthcare.gov so an error rate of 10% could theoretically impact hundreds of thousands of people. Of course the administration will continue to make real improvements to the system before more people sign up and the insurers are going to catch many of these problems as well, but it is likely thousands will be or have been negatively impacted by this back end problem.

Anyone who already bought coverage via Healthcare.gov should check with their insurer to make sure everything is correct and in order.

Photo by Brandon Daniel, used under Creative Commons license