Protecting Your Information at HealthCare.gov
By Kevin Counihan
The third year of Open Enrollment is just around the corner. Starting November 1, you’ll be able to enroll or re-enroll in quality and affordable coverage at HealthCare.gov. Over the last several months, we’ve been working hard to make the consumer experience even better this year – learning about what information you need to make decisions and how to improve the help and support we provide throughout the enrollment process. An important part of that is continuing to protect your privacy when you’re shopping for health coverage.
We’re committed to providing you with the opportunity to personalize your experience. Here are a few of the updates you can expect from HealthCare.gov. Today, we launched a simple way to give you more control over the information you choose to share with us – a new privacy manager. We’re also supporting the Do Not Track browser setting for our digital advertising. And, you can check out our updated privacy notice to learn more about these tools and to understand the steps we’ve taken to protect your privacy. We tried to make the policy easy to navigate while also being a lot more specific.
We know privacy is important to you when you use the web. In the process of signing up for health care coverage, you may provide us with personal information. For instance, you may enter your email address so that you can stay up to date with announcements and alerts from HealthCare.gov and learn about your affordable health coverage options. When you sign up for health care coverage, you provide information such as your name, Social Security number, and income so that we can verify your eligibility to purchase coverage. We take protecting this type of personal information very seriously and only use it to help you get – and keep – your coverage.
Like all other websites, we receive some information automatically when you read, browse, or download information from HealthCare.gov. This is information that your web browser sends when you browse the internet – such as your domain, IP address, type of device, and date and time you visited. We use this information to better understand how the site is being used – and to learn about how we can make it more helpful.
We also employ commonly used web tools like Google Analytics to analyze HealthCare.gov’s technical performance, as well as to facilitate, enhance, and measure the effectiveness of our digital advertising outreach efforts. These tools can help us do things like understand which pages on our website need improvement, to increase the speed and functionality of HealthCare.gov and make the site more useful to consumers. You can learn more about each of the third-party tools currently in use by reviewing our privacy notice.
There’s one tool, our new privacy manager, which we want to make sure you know about. This simple tool makes it easy for you to opt-in or out of the different types of third-party tools used by HealthCare.gov – Advertising, Analytics, or Social Media. If you choose to opt-out, you’ll still have access to everything on the site, but we won’t use information from your visit to analyze the site’s technical performance or use digital advertising to remind you about helpful information like deadlines. You can check out the privacy manager now by clicking on “Privacy Settings” at the bottom of HealthCare.gov.
In addition, if you have Do Not Track enabled in your browser, we’ll automatically observe your preferences related to digital advertising from HealthCare.gov.
The internet is constantly changing, and we have an obligation to keep evolving alongside it. We’ll keep reevaluating our own privacy notice, the tools we use, and how they intersect with the evolving landscape of privacy on the web. We are committed to protecting the information you entrust with us at HealthCare.gov.
We wish you a great shopping experience this year.