It's been several weeks since HealthCare.gov was supposed to be fully up and running, but one official said that between 60 and 70% of the website hasn't even been built yet.
At a congressional hearing Tuesday, Deputy Chief Information Officer of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Henry Chao said while the front end of the site — the part most people actually see, where you can compare plans and apply for enrollment — was finished for the Oct. 1 rollout, the backend is still a long way from completion.
"The back office systems, the accounting systems, the payment systems, they still need to be [built]," Chao said.
UPDATE: Department of Health and Human Services spokeswoman Joanne Peters told BuzzFeed in an email it's actually the other way around, meaning 30 to 40% of the website still needs to be built.
Here's her full statement:
The parts of the Marketplace that were essential for consumers to be able to apply for eligibility and select a plan were live on October 1. The additional functionality that has not been launched has to do with pieces that are not needed until 2014. The Federally Facilitated Marketplace is comprised of distinct pieces of functionality that, together, make up the full integrated system--plan management, eligibility and enrollment and financial management. As we have said, CMS prioritized essential functionality to be live on Oct 1 to ensure that consumers would be able to apply for eligibility and select a plan. Other functionality will come online over time. This is a complex project with a short timeline -- and as such issues were prioritized to meet the October 1 launch date. As part of this prioritization, back end tools, including Financial Management, Monthly Enrollment Reconciliation and Risk Adjustment, which are not consumer facing and not essential until 2014 will be rolled out in the coming months.
Jacob Fischler is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, D.C.
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