Republicans just found more campaign material for the elections next year. The highly criticized, key portal of President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, www.healthcare.gov, is suffering from still more issues, and because of that, the Iowa Department of Human Services said late Friday afternoon about 16,000 Iowans should reapply for coverage. The DHS sent out a statement that said the issues with the federal website delayed sending Iowans information back to the state for processing. DHS expected to have that information Monday but said the federal site’s problems will mean that won’t happen. Healthcare.gov has been plagued by failures, glitches and delays since it launched October 1st.
That means even though Iowans already applied through the federal site, they will now have to apply again through a state site or call center, according to DHS. DHS also said it can’t say whether Iowans’ health care needs will be covered in the meantime.
Here is the full DHS statement:
The Iowa Department of Human Services learned today that HealthCare.gov will delay sending additional application information, and is advising Iowans who applied through the federal portal that they should reapply through the state website or call center.
Currently, the files sent by CMS do not include enough information for the state to process applications. Federal officials had indicated they would send more complete information by Monday, December 30, but notified DHS this afternoon that there will be additional delay.
“We are working hard to ensure that Iowans who applied through HealthCare.gov will be enrolled in health coverage. We are encouraging Iowans who applied at the federal portal to reapply through our state website and call center,” said DHS Director Charles M. Palmer. “We will make every effort to process applications in a timely manner so that these Iowans can have certainty about their health care coverage.”
DHS is sending emails and letters to the nearly 16,000 Iowans whose applications are held at the federal hub. These communications will inform them that DHS will continue to work with CMS, but that Iowans should reapply through the state website at dhsservices.iowa.gov or by calling 1-855-889-7985.
Due to the delay with the federal website, if an individual needs to see a health care provider during this interim period we can’t guarantee coverage. However, Medicaid eligibility begins the first day of the month in which an individual applies. Applications received between October 1, 2013, and January 31, 2014, will be reviewed for January 2014 eligibility.
Applications will be processed based on the date received, so we encourage Iowans who applied through HealthCare.gov to reapply through the state as soon as possible.