The insurance networks require sophisticated new technology with many moving parts and a great deal of coordination among government agencies.

All the political and legal squabbling about Obamacare drained time, money and energy. Now, the administration has just months left to set up the exchanges and finish a mammoth multi-agency “data hub” that is supposed to instantly determine who gets subsidized insurance or Medicaid. Jennings said another priority is launching a call center to help millions of people — already confused by the sprawling law — to navigate their new health care options.

The hardest piece is the cyber architecture connecting a slew of federal agencies to one another, the states and consumers, said Angoff, the former health reform official.

The idea is sort of like Travelocity — but health insurance, of course, is more complicated than plane tickets. The consumer provides basic information about age, location, family size and tobacco use, and the “hub” kicks in data about the applicant’s citizenship, income and employment. All of that is supposed to generate information about eligibility, subsidies and net costs for various health plan options.