With open enrollment for ObamaCare beginning soon, the Obama administration is aiming for more enrollees. But people are still concerned about the safety of their personal information.
Open enrollment is the yearly period when people can enroll online in a health insurance plan. For 2016 coverage, that period is November 1, 2015 – January 31, 2016. While some states are once again operating their own exchange, most are utilizing the federal government's Healthcare.gov.
Numerous security concerns with Healthcare.gov have been raised over the last two years. In September 2015, an audit by the Health and Human Services inspector general's office found the government stored sensitive personal information on millions of health insurance customers in a computer system with basic security flaws.
OneNewsNow has reported that the Obama administration claims it acted quickly to fix all the problems identified. However, the Associated Press reports the episode "raises questions about the government's ability to protect a vast new database at a time when cyber-attacks are becoming bolder."
Devon Herrick, Ph.D. and senior fellow for the National Center for Policy Analysis, has doubts on the security of Healthcare.gov.
"For one thing, it's a website with millions of people accessing this website every year, so why would it not be a great target for identity thieves," he poses. "It's just hard to say, but I wouldn't be terribly enthusiastic about putting my information out there on that website."
In September, a staff technologist for the Electronic Frontier Foundation told federal lawmakers that personal information on health insurance customers "sounds like a gold mine for ID thieves."