Washington, DC, United States – Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) administrator Marilyn Tavenner apologized to Americans over the failure of the HealthCare.gov website to work well during a congressional hearing Tuesday.
Tavenner told the House Ways and Means Committee the federal website, where uninsured Americans are supposed to enroll to get affordable insurance under the so-called Obamacare, will get better by late November as CMS works with the contractor CGI Federal to fix the problems.
When asked by committee chairman Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.) how many have enrolled through HealthCare.gov and the state-run health insurance markets known as exchanges since the rollout in Oct. 1, she said the figure will be available next month.
In a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing of the issue last week, contractors said they were not given enough time to test-run the system. The committee will grill Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of health insurance plans are reportedly getting cancelled because they don’t meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
About 50 percent to 75 percent of 14 million individual insurance policy holders are affected, USA Today reported citing unnamed ACA sources as saying. The cancellation follows HHS’s regulation disallowing insurance policies in effect as of March 23, 2010 if their provisions changed since then.
The regulation reportedly contradicted President Barack Obama’s promise in 2012 that they can keep their health insurance. But those whose insurance will be cancelled will be shifted to better plans, White House spokeswoman Jessica Santillo said.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said that while “substandard policies that don’t provide minimum services” are eliminated, more than 80 percent of Americans insured by their employers or the government are unaffected by cancellation.