ID Verification Frustrates Exchange Shoppers
By Robert Pear, Correspondent New York Times Washington Bureau // November 27, 2013
FULLY FUNCTIONAL WEBSITE BY DEC.1 HIGHLY UNLIKELY
EDITOR’S NOTE: As the end of the month – the time by which the White House once pledged that healthcare.gov would be fully functional – approaches, new issues seem to surface everyday. The New York Times reports on problematic ID verification issues that continue to plague the registration process and reduce the possibility of a fully functional health insurance exchange marketplace any time soon.
NYTIMES.COM — Just days before the Obama administration’s self-imposed deadline to fix the troubled federal health insurance website, officials said Monday that they were aware of another problem that has prevented thousands of people who were unable to verify their identity from shopping for health plans.
Many users of the website have had their applications cast into limbo after they uploaded copies of documents like driver’s licenses, Social Security cards and voter registration cards, or sent them to the office of the federal insurance marketplace in London, Ky.
Administration officials said the government had established strict procedures to verify that people applying for insurance were who they said they were, in order to prevent fraud and identity theft. But a breakdown in the process instead is causing concern among some consumers about the handling of their personal information.
“I am in no man’s land,” said Roger N. Hampton of Boca Raton, Fla., who filed an application early last month. “I have been waiting patiently for my ID verification to come through, which has not occurred thus far. So I can’t see what plans are available.”
When he tried to file his application online, Mr. Hampton received a message that said: “Your identity wasn’t verified. You won’t be able to submit your application for health coverage until your identity is verified. Submit documents that prove your identity. Once you upload your documents, they’ll be reviewed. The results of your identity verification will be emailed to you.”
Mr. Hampton hit a button that said, “Upload documents” and attached copies of his Social Security card and driver’s license. He said he had heard nothing back.
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