Jeff Zients, the official appointed to lead the "tech surge" to fix HealthCare.gov, said on a conference call Friday that the website will be fully operational by the end of November.
"Let me be clear: HealthCare.gov is fixable," Zients said on a conference call with reporters. He said that it would "work smoothly" by the end of November. If Zients' words hold, that would mean that individuals and families would be able to apply for coverage by Dec. 15 to receive benefits by Jan. 1.
Zients also announced that the Department of Human and Health Services is bringing in a general contractor, Quality Software Systems Inc., to manage the fixes.
" There is a lot of work to do," Zients said. He promised "meaningful improvements on the site's performance each and every week."
The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services held the conference call for the second consecutive day on Friday. This call provided more specific answers and goals for the site's improvement.
Zients said that there's a "punch list" for site improvements. Zients did not delve into specifics on that list, but he said there are "dozens of items" on it. He did say, though, that at the top of the list was ensuring that health insurers receive correct enrollment data from consumers signing up. That's a significant shift from Thursday, when CMS said that the problem was "isolated."
According to Zients, about 90% of people can now create accounts, but only about 30% can get through the full application process.
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