States running their own online marketplaces already use such a direct connection.
“Please consider directing CMS to allow eHealth to directly connect with the federal data hub, post haste,” eHealth's CEO Lauer said in his letter.
Ehealth officials say they have not heard back from the administration, but are now testing the tweaks the administration has made to the existing system. Still, the current design is cumbersome because it transfers applicants from one website to another and is “is not an optimal way to leverage the experience and expertise” of websites like eHealth, said spokesman John Desser, vice president of government affairs.
But a direct connection between the hub and insurers or brokerages isn't likely to happen because of security concerns, said Dan Schuyler, a director with Leavitt Partners, a Salt Lake City-based consulting firm advising states about their online marketplaces.
"They're not going to let carriers or web brokers have direct access," said Schuyler. "From a security and privacy perspective, it would be an administrative nightmare."
Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan health policy research and communications organization not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.
Sun, Nov 24 2013