Health care website glitch causes problems

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HARRISBURG -- Up to 25,000 Pennsylvanians who thought they were enrolled in Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program may not have been enrolled Jan. 1 as they believed if they applied through the federal website HealthCare.gov, according to state officials.

The glitch was caused by a data transfer issue where states received incomplete records from the federal government, according to a statement from Gov. Tom Corbett's administration earlier this week.

The state Department of Public Welfare said the problem means it must manually process more than 25,000 applications affected by the file transfer issue.

"We are doing that as fast as humanly possible," said Kait Gillis, a DPW spokeswoman.

The problem affects people who applied for coverage online at HealthCare.gov Oct. 1 through Dec. 24.

The fastest way for those affected to get coverage is for them to go directly to the state agency, said Julie Bataille, a spokeswoman for the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Those affected should have received a call from the federal Health Insurance Marketplace Call Center notifying them, said Christine Cronkright, a spokeswoman for the governor's office. They should re-apply directly with the state DPW by calling 1-866-550-4355.

The problem occurred other states as well.

Coverage for those affected will be retroactive to Jan. 1, Ms. Bataille said.

"So, if they still have a need to access care, they will be able to do it," she said on a conference call earlier this week.

Kate Giammarise: kgiammarise@post-gazette.com, 1-717-787-4254 or on Twitter @KateGiammarise.


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