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State audit slams online system for Obamacare enrollment

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Poor planning and a “lack of effective leadership” within the state Department of Human Services prevented the department’s $155 million computer system from meeting the goals of the federal Affordable Care Act, according to a report released today by the Hawaii State Auditor.

Although the Kauhale On-Line Eligibility Application system, or KOLEA, launched in time to met a federal deadline on Oct. 1, 2013, the system has not been able to meet federal goals of creating a simple, real-time process for enrolling and determining eligibility for coverage, according to the auditor.

Human Services Director Rachael Wong disputed the major findings of the audit, arguing the report is “wholly incorrect” in its conclusion that the computer system doesn’t meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Wong contends KOLEA meets the requirements for a Medicaid eligibility determination system because the system accepts online applications, and is connected to a federal data hub that conducts online verification of the data.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has also told the state that the system is accurate and timely in determining eligibility for coverage, Wong said in her reply to the audit.

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