Q: Should I be concerned about how much personal information is required for enrollment in the exchanges?
A: No. You’re not required to provide any information that wasn’t either already disclosed to the IRS when you file your taxes, or already disclosed to health insurance carriers when you applied for pre-ACA policies.
To determine subsidy eligibility, the exchanges require you to provide income information. If you know you don’t qualify for a subsidy, the exchange will let you skip the income questions. But even if you have to complete them, the information you’ll be providing will be far less extensive than what the IRS already has from your tax returns.
Prior to 2014, applying for individual health insurance involved reporting several years of medical history in great detail during the application process. This was very personal information, but it was part of the process because individual insurance was medically underwritten in nearly all states. The ACA did away with this. Applications submitted in the exchange do not ask any questions about medical history other than whether or not you use tobacco.
As a result, the personal information disclosed when you enroll in the exchanges is less extensive than individual health insurance applications required in the past, and the financial disclosures are part of the data that the government already has via the IRS.