The President’s nominee for OPM Director, Katherine Archuleta, had her Senate confirmation hearing yesterday. The Washington Post reported on the challenges facing her. The number one challenge is improving the pace of retirement claims processing. The Post and the Federal Times report that Ms. Archuleta committed to improving the agency’s information technology systems as the way to best tackle this problem. The roadblock as the FEHBlog understands it is not technology but rather the federal retirement system’s overly complicated plan designs. There are plenty of off the shelf systems that can process pension claims if you have a simpler plan design. The FEHBlog expects that this design issue is confounding the IRS and other ACA regulators as they attempt to build the systems necessary to the support the Affordable Care Act. These are problems that only Congress can fix.
Update — Federal News Radio this morning reports on the exchanges between Senators and Ms. Archuleta about our beloved FEHBP and the not so beloved ACA.