Oregon Exchange Accidentally Enrolls Illegals, Splits Families Between Two Health Care Providers

Matt Vespa
By Matt Vespa | March 3, 2014 | 12:01 PM EST

It seems that Oregon's Obamacare health exchange can't catch a break.  First, their exchange chief takes an extended medical leave after their website failed to work, despite receiving $303,011,587 in grants.  Then,  it was alleged that the project managers for the Cover Oregon website created fake webpages to hide their lack of progress to the federal government.

Now, illegal immigrants have been accidentally enrolled for full benefits under Obamacare.

They were supposed to only receive pregnancy services, but the various problems relating to the Oregon health exchange allowed nearly 4,000 illegal immigrants to receive full benefits contrary to federal law.  To make matters worse, this problem was discovered several weeks ago, according to the Oregonian.

Kathleen Paul, an Oregon Health Authority manager, said, "It never works perfectly the first time out."  Yet, Oregon is still not out of the words concerning this  fiasco.  As the Oregonian reported, some enrollees were labeled as individuals rather than families, thus being given two health care providers and twice the headaches concerning paperwork:

  • Thousands of OHP enrollees were labeled as individuals rather than family members, meaning some families were split between care organizations - creating needless hassles for parents seeking care.
  • For months, the state grappled with inaccurate Medicaid coding, crucial to securing accurate federal matching funds.
  • Department of Human Services workers who used to help clients afflicted by erroneous information now face difficulties doing so because their responsibilities have been transferred to Cover Oregon.

As for the illegal immigrant enrollment glitch:

The information was sent over incorrectly and in an incomplete fashion until a few weeks ago, Paul said Friday. That resulted in 3,800 applicants for the Citizen/Alien-Waived Emergent Medical program receiving full OHP benefits instead.  The program is set up for immigrants who are either undocumented or haven't met the residency requirement for Medicaid.

"We were just getting people into the services," Paul said, adding that the state will finish fixing the problem in the coming week.

Not only that, but Cover Oregon sent over names of thousands of Oregon Health Plan enrollees as individuals, rather than labeling them properly as families. In some cases this has caused some family members to be assigned to one care organization and provider group while others are assigned to a completely different one.

Oregon's enrollment numbers have swelled to 200,000, but a third of those applicants were enrolled in Oregon's version of Medicaid.  They accidentally enrolled illegal immigrants and now family members are split between providers.  This has to be government operation.

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