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Health Insurance Exchanges Should Connect Users In Real-Time, Feds Say

BY Nick Judd | Friday, August 12 2011

The federal government today released more details about how health insurance exchanges are expected to work, Reuters reports:

Friday's proposed rules highlight the expectation of a smooth connection between state-run exchanges and the federal systems to make sure they connect and share information.

For example, the exchanges should be able to plug into federal tax databases to check income status and determine eligibility for federal subsidies or tax credits -- from a single, one-time application.

"This is not an '800' number you call and submit your information and maybe hear back later down the road," HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told reporters.

"This is actually a system that anticipates real-time ability to connect consumers to a plan they are eligible for."

I'm at a Health 2.0 meetup in New York City where federal Department of Health and Human Services Chief Technology Officer Todd Park is expected to be taking questions — I just spotted him walking in. What should I ask him?