Congress is scrutinizing the private firms hired to implement parts of Obamacare, — particularly a subsidiary of insurance firm UnitedHealth Group, which will hold the customer data for health care plans in the exchanges required under the law — but the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has been less than forthcoming, according to lawmakers.
The HHS failed to comply with a Jan. 4 deadline to provide information on the contracts regarding health care exchange data to House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) awarded a contract to Quality Software Services Inc. (QSSI), which is a subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group, to build a “federal data services hub” for the health care exchanges that must be established no later than Jan. 1, 2014.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare) requires a data hub to collect information from customers who are buying government-approved insurance plans on the exchange. The information includes income data, health history, and family characteristics of each customer.