WASHINGTON — Many of the 8 million Americans signed up under the new health care law now have to clear up questions about their personal information that could affect their coverage.

A government watchdog said Tuesday the White House faces a huge task resolving these “inconsistencies” and in some cases didn’t follow its own procedures for verifying eligibility.

Two reports from the Health and Human Services inspector general marked the first independent look at a festering behind-the-scenes issue that could turn into another health law headache for the White House.

The inspector general found that key personal details submitted by many consumers – such as income and citizenship – do not match records the government has on file. It also found shortcomings in the internal safeguards used by the federal insurance exchange and some state marketplaces.

Those details are critical because they determine whether an individual is eligible for subsidized insurance, as well as subsidies for monthly premiums.

Digging out from under the data problem is one of the top challenges facing new HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell.

The inspector general found that the federal insurance exchange reported a total of 2.9 million inconsistencies with consumer data from Oct. 1, 2013 through Feb. 23 of this year.

At the time, the administration had limited technical capability that would have let officials resolve roughly 330,000 of those cases. Only about 10,000 were actually cleared up within the period. Albright said the situation is much improved.

The inspector general said several states running their own insurance markets were having similar problems.

Most discrepancies dealt with citizenship and income information supplied by consumers that conflicted with what the federal government has on record.

The inspector general said efforts by the administration and states to clear up questions were complicated by lingering computer problems, including outages at the federal data hub.