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Life Health > Health Insurance signs exchange hub agreement

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At least one more company,, has received permission to plug in to the public exchange “data hub.”

It and eHealth Inc., among others, are trying to lay the groundwork to serve as “Web entity brokers” for the 35 state exchanges that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will operate.

Some news organizations are reporting that as many as five Web brokers may have negotiated data hub agreements with CMS. A CMS representative declined to release a list of the Web brokers with exchange data hub agreements.

“We have worked to ensure consumers will have a wide range of ways to sign up for health coverage this fall, including working to ensure Web-based brokers a part of this effort,” the representative said. “We have come to agreements with several such brokers, including eHealth, that will allow them to sign consumers up for coverage.”

CMS, an arm of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is setting up the hub to help the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act exchanges get consumers’ tax information.

The exchanges are supposed to use the information to determine whether people are eligible for Medicaid, the new PPACA health insurance purchase tax credits, or other government programs.

EHealth, the parent of the website, reported earlier this week that it had negotiated a data hub agreement. said it hopes to sell coverage in the District of Columbia and the 15 states that are setting up locally run exchanges. The company has technology support contracts with the state-based exchanges in California and New Mexico. also said it will support its public exchange operations with licensed call center representatives in Phoenix and in Marietta, Ga.

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