Health Insurance Exchange delay requested by McConnell
Today Republican Senator of Kentucky Mitch McConnell sent a letter addressed to the CMS (Center of Medicare & Medicaid Services) a division of the department of Health and Human services (HHS) asking them to delay the October 1, 2013 Health Insurance Exchange opening. Mitch McConnel wants the Health Insurance Exchange delayed due to a variety reason but most notably for security concerns.
The Health Insurance Marketplace, or exchange is where millions of Americans who do not currently have insurance or employer coverage will go to purchase individual and family health plans. A week ago the department of HHS announced that individuals would be able to go on the exchange to setup an account, however they would have to wait till October 1, 2013 to be able to see different insurance plans and options.
In the letter to the (CMS) Senator McConnell said “Americans should not be forced into the exchanges and certainly not without these assurances… that personal and financial data will be safe from “hackers and cyber criminals.”
“If you rush to go forward without adequate safeguards in place,” McConnell added, “any theft of personal information from constituents will be the result of your rush to implement a law to meet the agency’s political needs and not the operational needs of the people it is supposed to serve.”
McConnell’s concerns about security issues stem from news last week that inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issuing a report detailing information that CMS missed several self-imposed deadlines for running internal test on the security of the information technology which is supposed to power the health insurance exchanges that will be set up in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
As a result of the delays, a ruling by HHS’s chief information officer certifying the security of the federal information technology system, which every state has to use for its own exchange, will be pushed back to Sept. 30; a day before enrollment under the measure is due to start.