Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 14, 2016

Today’s Spotlight: Premium Subsidy Verification

A House Energy and Commerce panel today examines the income verification process for health plan premium subsidies.  Problems with the verification system became apparent in news reports published in May and the committee is mulling recent reports from the Department of Health and Human Services inspector general on problems with early planning and insufficient controls on the troubled subsidy verification process.

The audit reports are part of a congressional requirement stemming from 2014 appropriations legislation. A compromise provision of a 2014 stopgap spending bill, which later led to the budget compromise that halted immediate concerns about onerous sequestration spending cuts on health care programs, called for the administration’s certification of the process of verifying consumer eligibility for insurance subsidies, plus the HHS auditor’s reports. HHS issued to Congress a certification of the process in January.

Separately, CQ HealthBeat’s Rebecca Adams reported on Tuesday that several states are slowly gaining foothold in processing a separate backlog of Medicaid applications. Alaska, California, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri and Tennessee have responded to HHS inquiries about the backlog, which was prompted by the volume of people applying for Medicaid, technical difficulties in coordinating with federal verification systems and limited state resources.

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