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    Health Care Reform:

    Health Insurance & Affordable Care Act


    Reviewed by Lisa Zamosky

    WebMD Health News

    Health Care System on Track to Meet Deadlines

    Aug. 9, 2013 -- The system that will allow consumers to get information about health insurance options -- and to buy a plan -- is on track for the Oct. 1 enrollment date, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). That includes the Navigator program and insurance rate information.

    Marilyn Tavenner, the CMS administrator, told congressional Republicans under questioning early this month that the Affordable Care Act will be ready for implementation by Oct. 1.

    According to CMS:

    • By the end of August, testing of the Data Services Hub will be complete. The hub is where applicant information and eligibility -- such as citizenship, income, and immigration status -- are verified. The hub will be used by governmental agencies, not the public.
    • By mid-August, CMS will announce the organizations that will run the Navigator programs for states that have federally run health insuranceMarketplaces and states that will run their Marketplaces in partnership with the federal government. The grantees may be self-employed individuals and private and public entities.
    • By Oct. 1, insurance rate information will be available to the public.

    In June, CMS relaunched, the web site for consumers in states with both federally run and state-federal Marketplaces to access information, create accounts, shop for qualified health plans, and submit applications for health insurance. The site is expected to be fully functional by Oct. 1.

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