CMS announced last week that it would take a further step to help stabilize the market by eliminating the so-called “double redirect” process.

What is the Double Redirect?
The current process to enroll in an individual plan often starts on a website – whether that’s a web-based broker site like, or an insurer’s site – but can’t be completed on that same website. In other words, not all of the steps needed to complete shopping for and enrolling in an individual plan are available in the same online place.

Instead, some steps in the process have to take place on Shoppers start on a site, are redirected to to verify their identify and verify whether they are eligible for a premium subsidy, then are redirected back to the original site they started from to pick a plan and enroll in it. This is a cumbersome, confusing and inefficient process and one that has risk for technical problems.

What is the Impact of Eliminating the Double Redirect?
By allowing for a better consumer shopping and enrollment experience, access to health care — and thus overall enrollment — will increase. In the past, many people, when faced with the double redirect online process, simply stopped completing an enrollment. Eliminating the double redirect will enable the easy, streamlined experience that consumers, especially younger and healthier ones, expect. And increased enrollment will help to stabilize the individual coverage market.

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Entities such as web-based brokers who choose this option need to inform CMS, secure a third-party auditor, identify a service provider to verify identities, and perform testing with CMS, all prior to this fall’s shortened open enrollment season.