AG Morrisey sends letter to DHHS about health exchanges - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

WV AG Patrick Morrisey sends letter to DHHS about health exchanges

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West Virginia is leading 12 other states in a letter expressing concerns about consumer privacy under the new health care exchanges.

Attorney General Patrick Morrisey recently announced the Mountain State, along with attorneys general in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas have joined in a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

According to a news release from Morrisey's office, the letter questions privacy protections written into the DHHS' rules governing programs that assist consumers in enrolling in the new health care exchanges.

The Affordable Care Act provides funding for groups such as navigators to help consumers enroll in the health insurance plans, the news release states. The attorneys general assert that as part of that process, navigators and other personnel will have access to consumers' private and personal data.

The attorneys general also assert the DHHS' rules fail to ensure navigators will have sufficient training and that rules do not make clear who is responsible if an identity theft occurs.  

Attorneys general also say rules do not require criminal background checks or fingerprint checks of navigator hires.

"It is not enough to simply adopt vague policies against fraud," Morrisey said in the news release. "There are significant holes in the rules HHS has implemented already. We are very concerned about the risk of identity theft if those holes aren't addressed immediately or if the implementation of health care exchanges isn't delayed to allow for better regulations, more training for consumer outreach programs and better fraud prevention.

"In the rush to push forward, the administration is leaving consumers in West Virginia and the rest of the country behind."