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Missing 834s as Percentage of Enrollment Now Near Zero

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Saturday, December 14, 2013

As the technical improvements to HealthCare.gov continue making a difference to consumers using the website, our attention remains on addressing issues with the more “back end” parts of the system, including the creation and accuracy of 834 transaction forms.  These transaction forms are processed by health plans when consumers choose a product in the Marketplace, and our priority is working to make sure that every 834 form – past and present – is accurate, and that consumers are able to successfully enroll in the coverage of their choice.

Our dedicated 834 team – led by our General Contractor QSSI and working in partnership with issuers nationwide – is laser focused on ensuring we’ve made improvements to the system for the long term, and as we move forward, addressing any issues that could potentially impact consumer coverage.  This integrated team works on reconciliation issues 24/7, and maintains a telephone hotline for issuers who have questions. 

Our analysis indicates that between October 1st and December 5th, the number of consumers for whom 834s were not produced was fewer than 15,000.  But as the graph shows, since the beginning of December, missing 834s as a percentage of total enrollments has been close to zero.  These significant improvements are due to the technical fixes put in place by the end of November. 

Graph showing that missing 834s is declining. Missing 834s as a percentage of total enrollment was at 9.77% for the period October 1st to October 12th, 15.02% for the period October 13th to October 26th, 7.74% for the period October 27 to November 9th, 3.77% for the period 11/10 to 11/23, and stands at 0.38% for the period November 24 to December 5th.

For most Marketplace consumers, 834 creation or accuracy has not been an issue.  The majority of issues occurred between October 1st and the first few weeks of November when some of these transactions were either not being generated, or had errors due to larger technical system issues.  More than 70 of our software fixes over the past several weeks have focused on correcting software bugs related to 834 issues.  We’re assisting health plans in dealing with inaccurate 834s as efficiently as possible. 

To make sure that no consumer falls through the cracks because of earlier pervasive troubles with the site, we are contacting every consumer who has selected a plan through the Federal Marketplace to remind them to pay their premium and connect with their insurer. 

We continue to work with health plans Exit Disclaimer Icon undertaking a very focused process to verify 834 information. We are double and triple checking all enrollment data across systems.  This week, we securely sent data files to 300 issuers participating in the Federal Marketplace—and we’re reconciling 834s with the issuers. Every issuer’s health plan in the Federal Marketplace now has CMS files for the consumers who enrolled, or tried to enroll in their respective plans through early December.  After December 23rd, issuers will receive new files.

This thorough process will continue as we move forward, so that as open enrollment continues we are able to process back end financial information as needed between CMS and issuers, so that consumers who have selected affordable health plans from the Marketplace and paid their premium to that plan, are able to access the coverage they want and need.


This post is no longer accepting comments. If you want to learn more about the Affordable Care Act, please visithhs.gov/healthcare. If you have question about or need assistance with health insurance enrollment, please visithttps://www.healthcare.gov/contact-us/.


Join the Conversation


Submitted by Glynis on
Insurers have a hotline number they can call connecting them to the team working on reconciliation issues like this so they should be following up not telling you to call the Marketplace.
Submitted by Yonnie on
Glynis, I suspect the hotline wasn't established at the time I called. The Insurer's problem is that they are saturated by callers they did not expect and they had inadequate time to train the CSRs or set up the telephone menus. After waiting a week and after several attempts I was able to confirm and pay via telephone. In my former employment I was involved in major new software introductions and transitions for a large global corporation. We often had to go live when we knew of significant issues. Before we went live, we had documented contingency plans for these and other possible issues. I think that healthcare.gov had none.
Submitted by Angie on
I also have been waiting for two weeks for a packet and payment information.
Submitted by Yonnie on
Angie, My insurer is apparently not sending out packets until you pay. This is not what they told me two weeks ago. I would recommend that you call your chosen insurance company and ask to pay.
Submitted by Justin on
Can you define what "Total Enrollments" is and how that relates to the number of 834s? What I want to know is the ratio of actually created 834s vs. the number of 834s that were supposed to have been created. Attaching the missing 834s number to Total Enrollments is fairly meaningless as a measure of performance. Also, what was the ratio of 834s with all inputted and necessary information included vs. the number of actually created 834s? What about the ratio of 834s received and successfully processed according to website promises vs. the number of 834s with all inputted and necessary information included? We need much more information before we can make informed opinions on the performance of the healthcare website and its processes.
Submitted by Buz on
Sounds nice, but seeing MANY comments about Error ID:500.300588 which prevents final confirmation step in signing up for a plan. The help line and online chat were unable to help. Have cleared cookies and restarted browser as suggested to no avail. When will this be addressed or a revised procedure to avoid the error message communicated?
Submitted by Glynis on
did you remove that application, restart your browser and start over? If you are still getting that error then call the 800 number and immediately ask to speak to an ARC (Advanced Resolutions Center) Supervisor.
Submitted by Anonymous on
Glynis, requesting an "ARC supervisor" will likely end up confusing the representative taking the call and will not get them to the right location. Simply requesting to speak with a "Supervisor" would suffice.
Submitted by Glynis on
a reminder that people in Texas, Florida, and Ohio can enroll directly with an insurer and still get the subsidy credit because of a direct enrollment pilot project that was announced on Nov 22. You can use the 'see plans before I apply' button to select a plan and then contact the insurer directly.
Submitted by Glynis on
If you're still having issues after creating a new application then call the 800 number and immediately ask to speak to an ARC (Advanced Resolutions Center) Supervisor. It would be best to call during off peak times. Also since insurers now have a dedicated hotline number to call they should be able to follow up if you call them and they say they don't have any information.
Submitted by Roger on
Nice progress!