Screenshot of HealthCare.gov on October 30, 2013
Enrollment paperwork for nearly 15,000 Obamacare customers who signed up via HealthCare.gov never made its way to insurance companies, the Department of Health and Human Services announced Saturday.
The disclosure reflects the considerable problems the Obamacare website's "back end" faced in corresponding with insurers throughout October and November, even as administration officials were working around the clock to improve the website's "front end" and enable consumers to shop for insurance.
Still, HHS emphasized that enrollment records are now reaching their destination far more successfully, noting that since the beginning of December, the number of missing forms has been "close to zero."
"These significant improvements are due to the technical fixes put in place by the end of November," the department explained in a blog post.
The records in question - called 834 transaction forms - are typically sent to insurance companies after a consumer enrolls in a plan through the Obamacare exchanges. HHS blamed the early problems in transmitting 834s on transactions that "were either not being generated, or had errors due to larger technical system issues."
Insurance companies had previously complained that they were receiving duplicated forms and forms with missing or inaccurate data. In the blog post, HHS said they're working closely with insurers to corroborate enrollees' information.
"We are double and triple checking all enrollment data across systems," the department said. "This week, we securely sent data files to 300 issuers participating in the Federal Marketplace - and we're reconciling 834s with the issuers."
The department also said it is contacting enrollees to ensure that no one whose form may have been lost in translation falls through the cracks.
"We are contacting every consumer who has selected a plan through the Federal Marketplace to remind them to pay their premium and connect with their insurer," the post explained.
© 2013 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.