An official from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration was concerned that the required time to test the exchange being built in Washington will not be fully tested for people to sign up on 1st of October.
The top officials of the Obama administration at a joint hearing of 2 House sub committees said that the federal health insurance marketplace will be fully operational and uninsured citizens could shop for health insurance.
Advertisement"I want to assure you we are on target to have those systems ready...on Oct. 1," said Marilyn Tavenner, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the lead agency building the federal marketplace.
She also told lawmakers of the House Oversight and Government Reform and Homeland Security panels that the system for people to sign up for Medicare was also in place for the estimated 50 million older Americans. Alan Duncan, assistant inspector general for audit was too sure if the system between the government agencies and the marketplace were in place.
"The lack of adequate testing could result in significant delays and errors in accepting and processing [Affordable Care Act] applications for health insurance coverage," Mr. Duncan said. The federal government is covering 36 states in a marketplace called the exchange, while 14 districts would run their own insurance exchange. The exchanges are likened to travel websites where people can compare the rate of their premiums as they would do with fares on purchase of tickets.
The sites would also interact with numerous insurance companies and the Social Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security to confirm the legal details and the citizenship of the individual. Though Ms Tavenner expects some hurdles common to new technology which the government is prepared to handle as also help will be provided for people who want additional information. The federal government has till January to work out any snags people may encounter.
Hannah Punitha (IRDA Licence Number: 2710062)
Jennifer Corbett Dooren, July 2013
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