A single flaw in Maryland’s troubled online health insurance system will cost the state an estimated $30.5 million in excess Medicaid payments over the next 18 months because the system cannot accurately identify recipients who should be removed from the rolls, a report by state budget officials said.
The money will pay for coverage for thousands of individuals who are enrolled in Medicaid but whose income likely has increased to the point that they no longer qualify for the subsidy, which helps cover health costs for low-income individuals.
Maryland’s system cannot check whether Medicaid recipients earn too much to re-qualify. Rather than remove people incorrectly, the state reached an agreement with federal officials to delay reviews and continue payments until the site is repaired.
The report provides the first look at the potential dollar cost of the debacle, after months of public outrage and political finger-pointing over who is to blame for the deeply flawed site, which crashed within minutes of its public debut Oct. 1. In addition to identifying the “potentially very costly” Medicaid flaw, the report also found “significant uncertainty” about how much money it will take to fix the health insurance marketplace and where that money will come from.