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Healthcare.gov's mysterious new number: '834'

Pacific Standard, December 9, 2013

Now that the front-end of HealthCare.gov appears to be working properly, the media's focus is quickly shifting to the back-end systems that are supposed to provide insurance companies with accurate information about consumers enrolling in their plans. The issue is an important one because if insurance companies get incorrect data, their future customers may not be enrolled properly and that could lead to headaches—or worse—come January when patients show up at doctors' offices or hospitals thinking they are insured but really aren't. Sarah Kliff at The Washington Post has been flagging this issue for some time, writing in October how the "834" transactions that the government sends insurers each night could make or break the law.