Audit reveals many problematic issues with state’s insurance exchange
The Maryland Office of Legislative Audits has reviewed the state’s health insurance exchange, called the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, and have found that the exchange’s operators did not appropriately protect sensitive personal information from those enrolling in the marketplace. The state’s exchange began official operations in June of 2011 and the Office of Legislative Audits reviewed data from the exchange from that point through July 2014. The findings of the audit highlight many instances in which the exchange can be improved.
Exchange officials have not verified the appropriate spending of federal funds
According to the audit, the exchange did not adequately make certain that certain sole source and emergency procurement solutions were properly administered. It also found that the exchange operators did not verify vendor billings for hourly services before they were paid for. The exchange also did not verify that it had appropriately spent the $23.4 million in federal grants that it had received in 2014. Many of the issues that the agency has found with the state’s health insurance exchange may be due to administrative faults.
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Consumers information was exposed to significant risks due to faults in security measures
Exchange operators have suggested that they did not understand spending policies that were outlined when the exchange itself was formed. In terms of security, exchange operators may have left many people’s personal information exposed to significant risks. The information of more than 500,000 people who used the exchange were not encrypted due to time constraints. The exchange also did not additional steps to protect this information.
State has ensured that consumer data has been protected
According to the Office of Legislative Audits, the state itself took measures to ensure that consumer data was protected. These measures have been successful in doing so, per the agency’s privacy recommendations. Further action may be taken to address the other issues that the state’s health insurance exchange is experiencing, with Maryland officials hoping that most of these issues will be solved before the next open enrollment period, which begins in November.