Amid fear, HHS pledges privacy for Idaho exchange

BOISE — Federal officials insist people who enroll in Idaho’s Internet health insurance marketplace starting Tuesday shouldn’t fear for their personal-data privacy.

That’s despite last-minute concerns among some foes of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul that more must be done to protect privacy.

The Idaho exchange’s 19-member board will vote Monday on whether they believe a federal data hub that will process uninsured people’s personal and income data to help determine if they qualify for federal subsidies is secure enough to begin enrolling participants.

What’s fueling security angst?

Last week, Republican Sens. Jim Risch and Mike Crapo announced a proposal to halt exchanges, until U.S. government inspectors verify privacy provisions are adequate.

But U.S. Department of Health and Human Services officials said Wednesday all necessary security measures were approved this month.

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