It’s worth revisiting some of the assurances from administration officials over the summer that the technology to support the federal health-care exchanges would be ready for the October rollout:
Despite concerns that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are behind schedule in preparing to implement the Affordable Care Act, leaders from CMS and the Internal Revenue Service testified before Congress on July 17 that their technologies will be ready for the data-sharing that will commence Oct. 1.
“The ACA designates HHS as the conduit for information being shared with the marketplace,” said Daniel Werfel, the principal deputy commissioner of the IRS. “The taxpayer data supplied by the IRS will be transmitted over secure, encrypted channels to the HHS data hub, which was developed to facilitate these data transfers.”
Werfel was emphatic: “We are on target to have these systems ready when open enrollment in the marketplace starts on October 1 of this year.”
Marilyn Tavenner, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the HHS agency tasked with running the exchanges, also testified before the congressional committe:
I want to assure that you October 1, 2013, the health insurance marketplace will be open for business. Consumers will be able to log on to healthcare.gov, fill out an application and find out what coverage and benefits they qualify for. I also want to assure you and all Americans that when they fill out their marketplace applications, they can trust that the information they’re providing is protected through the highest privacy standards and the technology underlying this application process has been tested and is secure.