Feds want a more robust insurance database before Obamacare rollout

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The government will use the contractor-managed repository to evaluate providers and update Healthcare.gov.

The government is seeking a contractor to help expand and manage its database of information about private health insurance plans as new parts of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act come online, solicitation documents show.

Officials expect the number of private insurers using the Health Insurance Oversight System, or HIOS, to double or triple over the next few years as state-run health insurance exchanges and other elements of the 2010 law reach fruition, according to Thursday’s sources sought notice.

HIOS is essentially a backend database into which private insurers enter data about insurance packages, costs, customer complaints and other information. The government uses information from the database to evaluate the private insurance market and to populate publicly accessible databases and tools on Healthcare.gov.  

About 10,000 insurers use the system now, the notice said.

The contractor must design Web forms and other tools to ensure new data is entered into the HIOS system in a consistent, machine-readable way, the notice from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said. HIOS is housed inside a private CMS computer cloud. 

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