|By Christopher Snowbeck, Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
In a letter issued
The federal Affordable Care Act calls on all states by late 2013 to have functioning health exchanges where individuals and small businesses can purchase coverage. Exchanges are meant to be user-friendly online marketplaces for buying health insurance much like the
"This contract creates a situation whereby the exchange's ultimate designer, QSSI, is in a position to tailor the system to favor the interests of its parent company,
cases, are utilized by its competitors.
"Putting our customers' secure and proprietary interests first is a hallmark of our service," the company said in a statement. "We look forward to responding to the committee's questions."
The hub contract is meant to provide technical integration services for routing information from one source to another, according to the federal
Instead, the hub is meant to allow exchanges to securely submit questions about application information, and the federal government will provide information back that the exchanges can use to verify the data. The hub, for example, will help verify if an applicant qualifies for subsidized insurance coverage on a health exchange.
(c)2012 the Pioneer Press (St. Paul, Minn.)
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