As of Dec. 29, close to two million Americans had applied for insurance coverage through the Affordable Care Act federal exchange or state-run marketplaces. But The Guardian has found that thousands of applicants may unknowingly be without healthcare because of problems with the Obamacare payment system.
Heidi Moore, U.S. finance and eonomics editor at The Guardian, tells us in the accompanying video that Obamacare has a two-step sign up process -- applicants sign up through the government-run exchanges, but then have to connect with the insurance companies separately to pay.
"A lot of people aren't taking that second step," explains Moore. "They're not going to the insurer because they're not fully informed. Insurers are finding they're ending up with a lot more applications than payments. [At the end of last week and into this week] if those insurers don't receive their payments, the people who spent all that time signing up won't be covered at all."
Moore says these folks who fall through the cracks due to this issue will have to wait for the next opportunities to enroll, which range from from the beginning of February to March or later this Spring, depending on where they live.
Check out the video to see how this happened in the first place.
If you think you may be personally impacted, check your physical mailbox for instructions from your insurer on how to pay (yes, they are sending them by snail mail) and contact your insurance company.
And on a broader scale, get ready for some potential political football come late-January, Moore says, if this issue negatively impacts the Obamacare enrollment numbers.
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