This is very reassuring from the Obama administration. If you are the victim of fraud or ID theft on an insurance exchange website, the administration has been kind enough to supply a toll free number you can call to report it.
Of course, they aren't doing much to prevent it from happening in the first place. But at least you'll have the peace of mind that comes with knowing the government is going to get right on your case and catch the criminal responsible - maybe.
The Obama administration will announce measures to reassure Americans about the privacy and security of the information they submit when they sign up for insurance under President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law, officials said on Wednesday.
The administration plans to promote a toll-free telephone number to report fraud or attempted identity theft under the law, and expects to launch measures such as an online identification-verification system to keep taxpayer-funded subsidies from going to criminals, officials said.
Online health insurance exchanges, a key means to enroll an estimated 7 million uninsured Americans for next year, are to open across the country on October 1, and the administration is scrambling to surmount political and operational obstacles to get them running on time. People have until March to sign up for coverage next year.
Technology experts have cited the risk of fraud and abuse as factors that could complicate or delay the implementation of the exchanges, and opponents of the law have seized on those worries.
Attorney General Eric Holder, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Federal Trade Commission chairwoman Edith Ramirez and other federal and state officials were to discuss the privacy and security issues at a White House meeting on Wednesday, officials said.
That will be followed by events this week at the Justice Department and at the Federal Trade Commission aimed at reassuring Americans that their personal information will be safe and to publicize ways to report criminal activity, they said.
Don't you feel reassured?
The final report on security of the websites is due tomorrow and it is expected that the report will say that all is well and that the exchanges can open on time. But that's really a hope and a prayer. No one knows the real vulnerabilities of these systems and with so many points in the process that can expose a user's private information to hacking, anyone using the websites to purchase insurance and receive a subsidy is taking a risk.