Dec 162014
 
Consumer ChecklistThe simple answer is, “Yes,” and “Maybe.”
You will need a different email address for each tax filing family that is applying for health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace — if you are using the website www.HealthCare.gov to complete your application. You do not need an email address to apply by telephone at 1-800-318-2596 or to complete a paper application. But the Marketplace strongly encourages consumers to use an email address for on-going communication about the consumer’s HealthCare.gov account, annual renewals, and to access the account throughout the year to report changes to income, marital status, telephone number, mailing address, etc. If you begin an application by phone, or submit a paper application but later wish to make changes or select a plan on your own, you will need to link that application to an account you create using your email address.
Consumers who utilize the Health Insurance Marketplace online must have an email account to do so. Our certified navigators and application counselors have assisted consumers in establishing email accounts. Relatives who are not listed on the same tax return may not share a single email address, meaning that each account on HealthCare.gov must be connected to a separate email address. In all cases, Federally-certified navigators and application counselors do NOT have access to the consumer’s email account for any purpose and do not access the consumer’s email account for any reason. The rules about this issue are very clear for both types of enrollment assisters.
We recently had a consumer who came to get assistance in understanding the plan in which she was enrolled by a non-navigator/application counselor. The consumer was unable to recall her HealthCare.gov account username and password, and couldn’t access the emails that were being sent from HealthCare.gov to reset the password. The other assister had set up her email account without sharing the email account info (name and password) with the consumer.
We encourage consumers to seek out in-person assistance with certified enrollment assisters. We also urge consumers to be mindful of their personal information. Our certified navigators and application counselors use a Consumer Checklist on which consumers can jot down important information related to their Marketplace account. This is especially useful for those consumers who are not savvy email users.
All certified navigators and application counselors are required to display their certificate demonstrating their successful completion of the required Federal training. If consumers do not see the certificate displayed, this may be an indicator of another type of assister who may not be required to provide fair, accurate, and impartial information about the Health Insurance Marketplace, to include all of the plans offered in the Marketplace, regardless of the carrier.
If you have questions about enrolling in coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace, please call one of our certified assisters at 1-888-998-4646.
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