CMS updates privacy protections on HealthCare.gov

Shoppers using HealthCare.gov in the upcoming Open Enrollment period will have more control over their privacy settings and what type of information they choose to share with CMS.

In a blog post, Kevin Counihan, CEO of the federal marketplace, outlined key privacy updates to HealthCare.gov.

Key among the updates is a new privacy manager, which allows consumers to opt-out of third party tools HealthCare.gov uses to collect data, such as Google Analytics. Mr. Counihan said they use the information gathered from such tools to analyze the marketplaces' technical performance and their digital advertising outreach efforts, among other functions.

"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," Mr. Counihan wrote.

However, some data tracking tools are automatic, and CMS automatically receives information when consumers read or download information from HealthCare.gov, including domain, IP address, type of device and the date and time of the website visit.

"The Internet is constantly changing, and we have an obligation to keep evolving alongside it," Mr. Counihan wrote. "We'll keep reevaluting 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."

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