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Glitch snags 18K seeking health coverage in W.Va.

By Lori Kersey

Charleston Gazette

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A glitch on the federal health insurance marketplace has caused problems for about 18,000 West Virginians attempting to sign up for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

The federal exchange is having problems transferring account information to and from the state of West Virginia’s system, Jeremiah Samples, assistant secretary for the state Department of Health and Human Resources, said Tuesday. The “account transfer” problem is not limited to West Virginia, though, he said.

“This really is a national problem,” Samples said.

Of the 18,000 West Virginians 10,000 are people who used the Healthcare.gov website to sign up for coverage, but were determined to be eligible for Medicaid under West Virginia’s expansion of that program.

Ideally, the federal website would have transferred accounts of those people on to the state, Samples said. Instead, the federal website is sending only “flat files,” which have basic information about the person but not enough to sign them up for Medicaid, he said.

The DHHR is sending letters to those 10,000 people informing them they will need to sign up again via the state’s Medicaid website (www.wvinroads.org) via the state’s call center (888-483-0797) or at a county DHHR office, Samples said.

Another 8,000 West Virginians have been affected because they tried to sign up for Medicaid at a county DHHR office or via the state’s Medicaid website but were found ineligible.

Their information was supposed to be transferred automatically to the federal health insurance exchange where they might be eligible for a subsidy on their health insurance plan. Now they must sign up again via Healthcare.gov if they want health insurance on the exchange…

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