Consumers Given Incorrect Prices for Health Insurance Plans
Problems with Obamacare Site Mean People May Pay More
(Washington, D.C.) – More than one million consumers may be paying the wrong price for health insurance policies purchased under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, due to ongoing problems with the Healthcare.gov website. These individuals may be forced to pay much larger tax bills in the months ahead, because the federal government currently has no mechanism to promptly verify eligibility for discounted insurance policies. The consumer cost of a given policy varies based on how much a person earns. When a consumer submits an income estimate that differs from federal records, they are supposed to provide income verification documentation within 90 days in order to receive a corrected price quote. But the income verification portion of the exchange website has yet to be completed, and months from now, when the IRS is likely to verify income, many people will be forced to pay more because they entered incorrect information at the start.
The continuing issues with the technological capabilities of the marketplace is particularly important to members of the Hispanic community, who are seen as "the future of healthcare." According to the Pew Research Center, 45 percent of Hispanics have searched the Internet for a health care provider – and nearly 10% of those signing up for private health insurance via the exchanges are Hispanic. For America's Latinos, it is especially important that problems with health care are resolved in a way that provides consistency and puts patients first.
Daniel Garza, Executive Director of The LIBRE Initiative, released the following statement:
"Supporters of the new health care law have told us that the website is fixed, and the system is working as it should. Instead, we see that serious problems remain – problems directly related to the federal government's inability to manage so complex a system. The continued problems are an affront to Hispanics, who are paying artificially high premiums to support a system that many oppose. They have dealt with a Spanish-language website that launched months late, and which continues to encounter serious challenges. As the law is fully implemented, many are dealing with less access to doctors than before.
It's not surprising that support for the health care law has dropped to unprecedented levels or that many Latinos are seeking medical options in Mexico where they pay less for visits than in the U.S. while receiving more attention from practitioners. The unintended consequences of Obamacare have been felt by all Americans but most keenly by Hispanics who have been singled out by the Administration as a target enrollment demographic. Instead of unduly burdening individuals, the president should work with Congress to implement changes to the law that give Americans access to quality care without driving them to breaking the bank. After all, isn't that the point of affordable healthcare?"