ObamaCare Verification Practices

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One of the common concerns that many people have about ObamaCare is whether or not their information is going to be secure when they input their personally identifiable information into the upcoming exchange sites for their state on October 1st. Although there have been instances of people being able to find loopholes in the system with other government programs, there is a large amount of effort and detail being put into the ObamaCare program to ensure that everyone’s information is handled correctly and that it remains secure during the sign up process. Since there has never been a program like this before in America, the following overview provides some insight into some of the verification practices that may be used on the exchange sites initially.

Some people question if there will be incidents of people signing up for insurance as other people in order to try to get a peek at the rates that are available or discover loopholes in the system. Credit bureau Experian is already working against this. The bureau claims that they will be checking the answers to prompts against external databases, which would include information from utility companies and banks based on people’s spending history and other history. Individuals might be asked about addresses that they previously lived at, the color of their car, and other identifiable information that most people wouldn’t be able to provide. The system would be similar to what is used to verify the identity for accessing personal Social Security information. If someone got a question wrong, they would be referred to Experian’s help desk. If that failed,then they may be asked to submit some documents to prove their identity.

To determine if the customer is eligible for federal subsidies to pay for the insurance, the exchange will be pinging the “federal data services hub”, which is currently being built by Quality Software Services Inc under a $58 million contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. If someone is a citizen and their income is less than four times of the federal poverty level, then they would be considered to be eligible for the government subsidies to pay for the rates of the insurance program. The query would arrive at the hub, which would not store information, and would be then routed to online services that are located at the IRS for income verification. There would also be information being pinged to the Department of Homeland Security for a citizenship check.

There are elements of this plan which have never been used before, such as certain government programs and computers being connected together and working together in order to get increased performance and results. It has already been acknowledged that there are likely to be some glitches and bugs during the initial launch of the online insurance exchange sites; however, experts are working on a daily basis to ensure that everything has been tested, prepared, and fixed if necessary before the launch on October 1st. All ObamaCare coverage will become active on January 1st of 2014.