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Protecting Health Information Privacy

Jan 07, 2016

Health information is among the most private data that families may need to share but also protect.  Find out how new privacy tools are helping families get the best health care plans for their needs but also maintain the privacy of health data.

New Ways to Protect Information on

Doctor with a patient looking at a medical recordThere is now a new privacy manager on the federal Marketplace website.  In addition there is a “Do Not Track” setting on the browser.  “Do Not Track” allows consumers to opt out of online tracking used for advertising, and analytics (e.g., location).  The site will also honor “Do Not Track” settings that were previously set by consumers on their browsers.  Lastly there is a new privacy notice.

Highlights of the Privacy Notice

The full privacy notice information is available at   A few highlights include:

  • Personally identifiable information (PII) is collected when consumers create an account, complete an application, or use some of the website’s tools (e.g., identity verification).
  • Third-party service providers (like Google Analytics) collect information on location, Internet address, type of device (computer, tablet, mobile phone, etc.).
  • Information on applications may be used by other federal agencies to determine eligibility and cost savings.


How to Modify Privacy Settings

The new privacy manager tool allows consumers to opt out of certain tools like “advertising, analytics, and social media.”  Consumers can find this on the bottom of the homepage on and click on “privacy settings.”  In addition, families can use “Do Not Track” in their browser for all websites, including This can be done by going to

Preventing Fraud has information for consumers on how to prevent fraud.  Some tips include:

  • Use knowledge about open enrollment dates, official government publications, and comparing plans.  No one can sign you up for insurance outside the open enrollment dates unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.

    Protect health and financial information. You may be asked for employment information to verify income or your Social Security number but never for information like bank accounts, credit cards, or personal health information (except that you may be asked to provide medical documentation if you are applying for an exemption).
  • If you have any questions, there are free, trained representatives available to help, found at  You need not pay someone for this assistance.

Note: You may get a call from the Marketplace.  The caller will give their first name and an ID number.  If you have caller-ID, you can verify that the call is coming from the Marketplace; its phone numbers are listed on the fraud-protection webpage (see Resources, below).  You are not able to call the Marketplace back yourself, but you can ask to communicate by mail.  Be sure not to mail anything to any address not listed on the fraud-protection webpage.

There are many things that consumers can do to protect their private health information. even gives tips on how to report suspected fraud See Resources, below.


Privacy Notice:

Preventing Fraud:


Lauren Agoratus


Lauren Agoratus is the parent of a child with multiple disabilities who serves as the NJ Coordinator for Family Voices. She also serves as the southern coordinator in her state’s Family-to-Family Health Information Center.

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