Healthcare.gov and its state marketplaces approved healthcare coverage and tax credit subsidies for nine out of 12 fake applicants as the Government Accountability Office conducted an undercover investigation, according to a GAO report.
The GAO created a dozen fake identities and tried to obtain coverage for them during the enrollment period, the Washington Free Beacon reports.
“For all our fictitious applicant scenarios, we sought to act as an ordinary consumer would in attempting to make a successful application,” the investigative agency said. “For example, if, during online applications, we were directed to make phone calls to complete the process or to mail the application, we acted as instructed.”
Obamacare requires that the Marketplace check Social Security numbers, citizenship or immigration status, and household income on all applications.
The 12 applications used fake Social Security cards, drivers licenses, and proof of income. Nine of the applications were approved while three of them were denied. Six of the applications were asked to provide further documentation.
The applications were submitted to the federal exchange as well as two state-based exchanges in California and Washington, D.C.
The nine approved applications were also approved for tax credit subsidies averaging $1,580 per month, or $18,960 per year.
In 2015, the GAO conducted a similar investigation where Healthcare.gov approved 10 applications for subsidized coverage.