Four vendors entrusted with getting the health insurance exchanges up and running told a House subcommittee on Tuesday that despite concerns heard in healthcare information technology circles and within the federal government, the exchanges will be ready to roll by Oct. 1.
The exchanges are the online marketplaces that will be used by individuals to select and purchase health insurance, as mandated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The preparedness of this critical component of the healthcare law has been widely debated among stakeholders, pundits, and politicians.
Earlier this summer the Government Accountability Office released two reports that raised concerns about HIX meeting the Oct. 1 deadline. While "much progress has been made…much remains to be accomplished within a relatively short amount of time," warned the reports.
See Also: GAO: HIX Unready by October?
Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA), chair of the House Energy & Commerce Committee's subcommittee on health, which called the hearing, clicked through the exchange functions that must be completed for each insurance application, including checks with the IRS to verify income and the Department of Homeland Security to verify residency.