Remote Identity Proofing: Impacts on Access to Health Insurance

Most people seeking to apply online for affordable health coverage programs — Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and private health plans through the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) Marketplaces — must complete a remote identity proofing (RIDP) process before submitting their application online.  RIDP is not an eligibility requirement but rather a way to ensure that online applicants are who they say they are by having them answer a series of personal questions (drawn from their credit files and other sources) that only the actual person could likely answer correctly.

RIDP is intended to protect consumers from unauthorized access to their personal information held by trusted sources like the Social Security Administration, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Department of Homeland Security that is now routinely checked during the online application process, rather than being checked after the application is submitted.  However, individuals may encounter a number of challenges during the RIDP process that prevent them from submitting a timely application.  As a result, eligible individuals may be less likely to apply for benefits or may experience delays.   The steps identified in this paper can help avoid RIDP-related barriers that prevent or delay eligible consumers from obtaining health insurance.

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