The hearing was convened because of that report, which uncovered 2.9 million inconsistencies between consumers' insurance applications and their information in federal databases.
For 90% of those inconsistencies, HHS had to resort to a manual resolution system, as opposed to the automatic, IT-enabled system envisioned when the exchanges first started.
Going forward, the OIG will analyze the eligibility functions of the state-based exchanges.
It also is “looking at several aspects of the contracting involved in the development of HealthCare.gov,” Daly said. The OIG should be prepared to report on its findings by year-end or the beginning of 2015, she said.
Republicans at the hearing focused on the potential for the inconsistencies to lead to financial pain for consumers. They asked whether the inconsistencies meant that many applicants had misstated their income and received improper subsidies, and questioned how those subsidies would be recovered.
OIG witnesses replied that income misstatements and improper subsidies were possible, and those subsidies would be recovered through the Internal Revenue Service.
That reply prompted a worried response from committee members. Rep. Leonard Lance (R-N.J.), said that IRS review of incorrect subsidy levels might result in “many unhappy surprises in spring 2015” if consumers found out they owed much more federal tax than expected because of the IRS' need to recover incorrectly applied subsidies.
Follow Darius Tahir on Twitter: @dariustahir