The Obama administration will unveil a more simplified application for those seeking insurance under the president’s landmark healthcare reform law, after criticisms the initial forms were too complex.
"Consumers will have a simple, easy-to-understand way to apply for health coverage later this year," said Marilyn Tavenner, the interim administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in a statement touting the streamlined application. “The application for individuals is now three pages, making it easier to use and significantly shorter than industry standards."
The application for families seeking benefits is seven pages long.
A draft application leaked last month from the Department of Health and Human Services topped out at 15 pages, including questions about age; race; income and applicants' current insurance plans.
The extensive forms raised concerns among lawmakers that the process would be daunting and discourage those applying for insurance benefits.
GOP lawmakers said the forms also asked consumers for information they would not know about tax status and health plans offered by their employers and probed unnecessary personal details.
Rep. Charles BoustanyCharles William BoustanyFormer lawmakers call on leadership to focus on unity Partial disengagement based on democratic characteristics: A new era of US-China economic relations Lobbying world MORE, (R-La.), who leads the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight, also raised concerns about questions in the form asking applicants about voter registration status, worrying that it could lead applicants to believe that was tied to eligibility for insurance.
The forms will allow applicants to apply to join the administration’s health exchanges or receive tax credits to make purchasing insurance more affordable.
This story was last updated at 10:43 a.m.