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Progress is Being Made on Health Insurance Exchange

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UNDATED (AP) — While California law gives its health care exchange sweeping authority to conceal its spending on outside contractors, Minnesota’s exchange already has made several key contracts and requests for proposals readily available to the public on its website.

Those contracts cover several topics including computer infrastructure, outreach communications, marketing, brand development and quality ratings. All the contracts list how much money the state is obligated to pay.

MNsure operates under the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act, which presumes that all government data are public unless there’s a state or federal law that classifies the data as private.

The law that created MNsure does shield certain data that the insurance marketplace will collect, primarily data about individuals and employers that get coverage through the exchange. Applications from insurance companies that hope to sell health plans on the exchange start out as private except for the name of the applicant. But all the data in those applications, with the exception of trade secrets, becomes public once the exchange makes a final decision on the application.

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