By Ferdous Al-Faruque - 07/31/14 11:09 AM EDT
A top official from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services told lawmakers Thursday that the agency expects more “bumps” during the 2015 ObamaCare enrollment period.
“I expect it won’t be perfect serving millions of people,” new CMS Principal Deputy Administrator Andy Slavitt said of the enrollment website, Healthcare.gov, before a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Oversight subcommittee.
The hearing followed the Wednesday release of a Government Accountability Office report that highlighted management failures behind the botched rollout of the enrollment website, which led to $840 million in costs.
Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) pressed Slavitt on whether problems with ObamaCare’s verification system, which determines who can receive subsidies for insurance plans, would be fixed by the next enrollment period.
“If there’s going to be trouble, I think the committee wants to know,” said Murphy.
Slavitt said the next enrollment period will be a “vastly different situation” but didn’t rule out continued problems. He added, though, that the agency would be better equipped to handle problems during the next enrollment drive.
Slavitt said half the inconsistencies found on insurance applications were because people had changed their jobs and income. He said the agency is upgrading its software system to provide more up to date information on applicants’ income status.
“Data discrepancies are going to be the way of life,” said Slavitt, while adding that software upgrades would improve the situation.
The CMS has come under strong criticism from Republicans after several reports found flaws with their verification system.
The agency has admitted that a million people may be at risk of having to pay back some of their subsidies if they were ineligible for them.