Information Breach on HealthCare.gov
In October 2018, a breach occurred within the Marketplace system used by agents and brokers. This breach allowed inappropriate access to the personal information of approximately 75,000 people who are listed on Marketplace applications.
You don’t need to do anything. The Marketplace is notifying affected individuals starting the week of November 5, 2018 with a phone call, followed by a letter (PDF) with details about the breach and the protections that are available to them. HealthCare.gov is safe to use, and the agent and broker system is now available again with additional security measures in place. You can use HealthCare.gov directly, and these same resources are available to your trusted agent or broker.End highlighted text
This fact sheet provides more information about how your information is being used in the Health Insurance Marketplace® run by CMS, your rights to access records that are maintained about you, your right to file an appeal, and other helpful information. Review it carefully.
Read the official Privacy Act Statement required by the Privacy Act of 1974.
The Marketplace is a resource where you can learn about your health coverage options, compare health insurance plans based on costs, benefits, and other important features, choose a plan, and enroll in coverage. The Marketplace also provides information on programs that help people with low to moderate income and resources pay for coverage. This includes ways to save on the monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs of coverage available through the Marketplace, and information about other programs, including Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). In some states, the Marketplace is run by the state. In others it is run by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). If you’re applying for health coverage in a state running its own Marketplace, visit HealthCare.gov and you’ll be directed to your state’s marketplace. This page describes how the Marketplaces run by CMS use your information, and does not apply to Marketplaces run by states.
As a federal agency operating the Marketplace and associated programs, CMS is required to protect the information it collects and maintains. CMS respects your right to privacy and will protect the information it maintains about you in the ongoing operation of the Marketplace in accordance with all required laws, regulations and standards. “You” refers to any person whose information is entered on your application, or those acting on such a person’s behalf.
CMS needs your information to determine eligibility for:
When you apply for health coverage or an exemption, your information may be used to:
When you enroll in health coverage, your information may be used to:
After you enroll in health coverage, your information may be used to:
Also, federal law (like the Privacy Act and Social Security Act) may require or permit CMS to share information we collect or maintain about you for other purposes. More information on the ways your information is allowed to be used and shared can be found in the System of Records Notice.
CMS will only share your information as needed and allowed by the System of Records Notice or as authorized or required by law. Examples of when CMS may disclose your information to agencies or people who need the information for specific reasons are provided below. For more information, review the System of Records Notice.
When you apply, CMS verifies the information you provide with these organizations and agencies to determine your eligibility to purchase a qualified health plan through the Marketplace and, if you choose, for help paying for health coverage:
Not all applicants will need to provide all of this information. For example, you’ll be asked about your employment, income, and enrollment in health coverage only if you want help paying for health coverage.
You may decide to give permission to organizations or people who can communicate with the Marketplace about your application for such needs as resolving inconsistencies, or ensuring complete and accurate applications. Depending on your permission, they may include:
Each application filer confirms that he or she is authorized to share information for everyone on the application. That way, the Marketplace has permission to share your information with your application filer.
Once you select coverage, CMS will use your information for purposes such as:
If you choose to submit an appeal, the information from your application and your appeal may be shared with federal and state agencies listed under #1 above in order to process your appeal.
To maintain Marketplace operation, CMS works with the following groups and may therefore share your information with:
You don’t have to give personally identifiable information (PII), including Social Security numbers. However, if you don’t give this information, it may delay or prevent the Marketplace from performing all functions, like telling you about getting help paying for coverage, or determining your eligibility for benefits, programs or exemptions.
If you aren’t exempt from the shared responsibility payment and don’t maintain qualifying health coverage for 3 months or longer during the year, you may be subject to a penalty.
Be sure to provide correct information. Anyone who fails to provide correct information or who knowingly and willfully provides false or untrue information to the Marketplace may be subject to a penalty and other law enforcement action.
People who apply for health coverage need to provide an SSN if they have one. An application filer must also provide the SSN of any tax filer who isn’t applying for health coverage if the tax filer’s tax information will be used to verify the household’s eligibility for help with paying for health coverage. Other people not applying for health coverage are encouraged to provide their SSNs to speed up the application process, but aren’t required to provide one. We use SSNs to check income and other information to see who’s eligible for help with health coverage costs. If someone wants help getting an SSN, they can visit socialsecurity.gov, or call 1-800-772-1213. TTY users should call 1-800-325-0778.
Lawfully present immigrants can apply for health coverage. Applying or enrolling doesn’t make someone a “public charge.” This means it won’t affect their chances of becoming a Lawful Permanent Resident or U.S. citizen. (Exception: People receiving long-term care in an institution at government expense, like in a nursing facility, may face barriers getting a green card).
Immigration information entered into the Marketplace will be used for administration of the Marketplace and insurance affordability programs only. People who aren’t applying for health coverage don’t need to provide their citizenship or immigration status.
If you don’t agree with what you qualify for, in many cases you may be able to file an appeal.
You can appeal eligibility to buy Marketplace plans and also for enrollment periods. If you’re applying for help paying for coverage, you may also have the right to appeal eligibility for tax credits, cost-sharing reductions, Medicaid eligibility, and CHIP eligibility. If you qualify for tax credits or cost-sharing reductions, you can appeal the amount you’re eligible for.
Review your eligibility notice to find appeals instructions for each person in your household, including the number of days you have to file an appeal. Here’s important information to consider when filing an appeal:
To appeal your Marketplace eligibility results, you can mail an appeal form or your own letter to Health Insurance Marketplace, 465 Industrial Blvd, London, KY 40750-0061. For more information call the Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596. TTY users should call 1-855-889-4325.