“We still need to build the payments systems to make the payments” Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Deputy Chief Information Officer Henry Chao told an Energy and Commerce oversight subcommittee hearing today.
The revelation, first reported by Politico’s Jessica Meyers, comes less than a month before consumers must make payments on Obamacare policies which go into effect at the beginning of next year. Since, according to Healthcare.gov, the first payment for plans beginning on January 1st, 2014 must be made by December 15th, 2013 that leaves a mere 26 days for Obama administration to create and roll out a working payment system.
Despite this narrow time frame the administration has given no indication that they will delay the payment deadline. In fact, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius reiterated the December 15th payment deadline in a conference call just last week. “By the 15th of December, we’ll be able to tell you how many people have actually paid for the first month of coverage,” she said.
The payment system was not the only part of the government run health insurance exchanges that remained incomplete according to Chao. He claimed that “60 to 70 percent” of the system still needed to be developed.