HHS Westcott

House Lawmakers and State AGs Cite Privacy Concerns With Navigator Program

by BNA.com  |  published on August 19, 2013

The Department of Health and Human Services’ “navigator” program may pose a threat to individuals’ privacy, the House Energy and Commerce Committee and thirteen state attorneys general recently said.

The navigator program, created under the Affordable Care Act, will provide “unbiased information” about insurance options that will be available in the federally facilitated marketplaces and state partnership marketplaces that open for enrollment Oct. 1, HHS said in an Aug. 15 statement.

HHS announced that it awarded $67 million in grants to 105 “navigator” organizations that will help people shop for and enroll in health insurance plans in online marketplaces being set up by the federal government.

But the House Energy and Commerce Committee Aug. 15 issued a statement citing potential privacy and security issues in the navigator program.

To help people sign up for coverage, “Americans will detail their very personal health and financial information to these individuals,” the committee said. “The sheer volume of personal information collected by navigators raises serious privacy concerns.”

“Meanwhile the security of the data hubs where all of this personal health and financial information will be stored will not be known one day before open enrollment,” the committee added.

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