MNsure's readiness questioned, but IT officials say security 'state-of-the-art'

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Lawmakers on a legislative panel that oversees MNsure on Tuesday questioned whether the new health insurance exchange was ready for launch on Oct. 1, following a recent security lapse.

But Chris Buse, Minnesota's top information security officer, said they needn't worry – MNsure’s data privacy measures are “state of the art,” WCCO reported. Buse said MNsure's security infrastructure could be compared to the best models now in use by Minnesota government, the station reported.

At issue for the Tuesday hearing was a breach earlier this month in which an employee mistakenly emailed a document to an independent Apple Valley insurance broker that included private data, including Social Security numbers, of about 1,600 insurance agents. The worker’s actions were against MNsure policy, its leaders say, and the employee no longer works for the state.

MNsure officials promptly acknowledged the mistake, and the data were then properly deleted, but the breach raised red flags and prompted questions about whether MNsure was ready for launch.

Brian Beutner, the chairman of MNsure’s board of directors, on Tuesday said MNsure's leaders have learned from the security lapse, the Associated Press reported. “The way to succeed is to fail fast,” Beutner said. “And the corollary to that is to fix things fast.”

The breach was not related to the IT data system consumers will use to sign up for insurance, MNsure executive director April Todd-Malmlov said, FOX 9 reported.

Lawmakers were not entirely convinced.

“A lot of people are unsure about MNsure,” Rep. Joe Hoppe, R-Chaska, said, the AP reported.

MNsure is a an online health insurance marketplace designed to allow one-stop shopping for Minnesotans seeking health insurance. MNsure officials expect as many as 1 million Minnesotans will use MNsure to obtain insurance.

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