Covered California Website Requires Secure Emailing for the Protection of PII
Posted: May 23, 2016
by John Hansen
The Covered California website and the Obamacare California Exchange has taken great measures to insure the security of Personally Identifiable Information (PII). This legally protected information is available to agents, navigators, counselors and health insurance carriers. The Obamacare California Exchange is aware that PII must be kept secure.
One of the online safety measures involves requiring secure emailing. This has been implemented and required for the online transmission of PII. Covered California agents, navigators, assistants, representatives, and Health insurance carriers have all been required to use secure emails when transmitting PII.
How does Covered California website secure emailing work?
When you receive a secure email, often the email comes with an attachment. When you click on the attachment, it opens a web page that requires you to log in. Thus you need not only to have access to your email account, but also to have an additional user ID and password to sign in to view your secure emails.
This creates multi-factor authentication for the viewing of secure emails which contain PII. Two sets of user ID’s and passwords are required. You have to enter your regular user ID and password for your email account and then you have to enter your user ID and password for your secure email account that has been set up for you by the sender of the email.
Usually, the first time you go to login to your secure email portal, it will ask you to create a user ID and password for that portal. From then on, it will require you to enter that user ID and password for future secure emails from that sender.
Protecting Your Personally Identifiable Information
Email hacking has been very prevalent in the last five years. Everyone who uses email regularly is familiar with getting strange emails from a friend with some weird link to buy some product like Viagra.
The health insurance industry including the California Department of Insurance and the Covered California Website do not trust the security of most email accounts. Thus they are requiring secure emailing for the transmission of PII.
Personally identifiable information can be used fraudulently to sign up for credit cards in someone else’s name. Hackers can charge up these credit cards and hurt people’s credit scores.