The Iowa Department of Human Services says problems with the federal healthcare website has led to a delay in processing policyholder information and is asking 16,000 Iowans to reapply for Obamacare using the state website or call center.
People who signed up on the federal website, Healthcare.gov, and qualified for Medicaid were supposed to have their information automatically forwarded to the state for processing. That information transfer has “been complicated by technical problems.”
"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."
The announcement is likely to cause a great deal of confusion.
Americans who applied before the individual mandate deadline on Dec. 23, are supposed to have coverage effective Jan. 1.
According to the DHS, even if the New Year starts, those who should have been signed up for Medicaid will be given coverage retroactively.
Amy Lorentzen McCoy, a spokeswoman for the Iowa DHS, told the Desmoines Register the agency hopes to have the issue sorted out by Jan. 31.
“We certainly want people to seek medical care if they need it,” she said.
For those with very modest incomes, these reassurances might not be enough.