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Privacy Policy

Last Updated: December 18, 2018

 

What is the Purpose of this Privacy Policy?

This Privacy Policy discloses the privacy practices with respect www.benefitscheckup.org, a website of the National Council on Aging (the “Web Site”). NCOA is committed to maintaining the privacy of our users’ personal information (i.e. information that can directly identify you or indicate how you might be contacted) and this Privacy Policy describes what information we collect and how we use, share, and protect it. NCOA values and respects your trust and we believe you have a right to know about how we collect and secure information we collect about you.

NCOA is a public charity and in support of its charitable mission, provides services and educational and other resources to older adults. NCOA collects personal information from you for the purpose of making services which you request available to you and also to make you aware of benefits and programs which may be of use to you. We do not sell your personal information to others or use your personal information for our own profit.

Please take a moment to read and understand this Privacy Policy so that you can understand what information we collect and how we use, share and protect it. If you do not agree with these terms, please do not use the Web Site.

How Does this Privacy Policy Apply?

This Privacy Policy applies when you access and use the Web Site from mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, etc., computers, and other devices and when you communicate with us by mail, email, phone, social media, or in person, including NCOA-sponsored educational and other events. The Web Site may contain links to other Websites provided by other parties, including governmental agencies. Once you access a third-party Website (whether through our service itself, or via a link), please be aware that NCOA is not responsible for the privacy practices of those other parties. NCOA does not endorse and is not responsible for the privacy practices of those parties or their Websites.

We encourage you to look for and review the privacy statements of each and every Website that you visit, including those sponsored by NCOA.

What Personal Information Does NCOA Collect?

NCOA collects personal information about you that you provide through several means, such assigning up for our newsletter or requesting other informational or educational materials, participating in online registration and surveys, and participating in discussion boards, educational offerings, advocacy and other alerts and social media. To the extent you provide it, we collect your name, email address and mobile phone number, as well as information you provide in your responses to questionnaires seeking information regarding your eligibility for benefits to which you may be entitled, including age, income information, and prescription drugs you may be taking.

An optional feature of the Web Site allows qualifying Medicare recipients to apply for a low-income subsidy (“LIS”), also known as “Extra Help” from the Social Security Administration to get assistance in paying the costs of prescription drug. If you apply for LIS using the Web Site, we will collect personal information from you which is required by the Social Security Administration to complete your LIS application, including your name, date of birth, social security number, mailing address, phone number and certain income information. Participation in this, and any other feature of the Web Site, is entirely voluntary. If you do not wish to disclose this personal information on the Web Site, you can apply for LIS directly with the Social Security Administration, either online at www.socialsecurity.gov/extrahelp; by calling the Social Security Administration and requesting an application be mailed to you; by applying over the phone; or by applying in person at your local Social Security office.

NCOA may also collect information about you from other sources, such as senior centers you visit and other members of the aging community. We may also collect automated information generated from your use of the Web Site.

How Does NCOA Use and Disclose Personal Information?

NCOA discloses personal information you provide in connection with applying for benefits to the Social Security Administration and other agencies in order to assist you to complete your application for these benefits. In addition, NCOA’s third party service providers, vendors may have access to your personal information in connection with NCOA’s provision of services or to perform business functions on your behalf, such as hosting the Web Site and helping us communicate with you and make you aware of services that may impact your health and wellbeing. These third party service providers and vendors are required to treat your personal information as confidential, and to use personal information only to provide the services for which they have been engaged by NCOA.

NCOA also monitors the effectiveness of our services, including whether applications for benefits actually results in the receipt of benefits by people who use these services. We use this information for research purposes and report this information to our grantors and other third parties such as advocacy groups. NCOA does not disclose your personal information in connection with these efforts.

Except as set forth in this Privacy Policy, we do not share your personal information with unaffiliated parties without your consent. NCOA may disclose personal information: (1) to comply with valid legal requirements such as a law, regulation, subpoena, court order or other legal proceeding; (2) to certain advocacy partners and unaffiliated third parties such as other non-profit organizations and governmental agencies to determine your eligibility for certain benefits or otherwise offer or provide services to you; (3) for research purposes concerning healthy aging and the impact of our programs and services on older Americans; or (4) to provide benchmarking and analysis of benefits and programs and to improve the Web Site and NCOA’s service offerings to the aging community.

NCOA may combine, in a manner that does not identify you individually, the personal information you provide with information from other users to create aggregate, de-identified data that may be disclosed freely to third parties and used by NCOA for any lawful purpose. Aggregate data does not contain any personal identifiers that could be used to contact or identify you, such as name or email address.

NCOA may disclose this aggregate, de-identified information to our advocacy partners and members of our aging network in order for NCOA and these parties to conduct advocacy activities on behalf of older adults. NCOA and its advocacy partners may use and disclose aggregate, de-identified information to government officials and representatives in order to conduct advocacy activities on behalf of older adults, to assess the effectiveness of existing services and programs and to improve our service offerings to the aging community.

What Technologies Does NCOA Use to Collect Information and How are they Used?

NCOA collects and stores information (some of which may be personal information) using various technologies when you interact with us through our websites and apps, and when we communicate with you by email or text message. We use standard technologies, including cookies, Web beacons, and third-party analytics services to collect behavioral and operational data, which may be retained in our systems.

The Web Site uses “Google Analytics” (https://analytics.google.com) and associated tools to collect and analyze information about how you use the Web Site. Google Analytics collects information such as how often you visit the Web Site, what pages you visit when you do so, and information on specific pages and content you access. We use the information we get from Google Analytics to improve the Web Site and the services we provide. Google Analytics collects only the Internet Protocol address assigned to you on the date you visit the Web Site, and not your name or other identifying information.

“Cookies” are small text files placed on your computer or device, to collect standard Internet log information and visitor behavior information in an anonymous form. Cookies, by themselves, do not tell us your e-mail address or other personal information unless you choose to provide this information to us. However, once you choose to provide the personal information, this information may be linked to the data stored in the cookie. Cookies cannot be used to run programs or deliver viruses to your computer.

Google’s ability to use and share information collected by Google Analytics about your visits to the Web Site is restricted by the Google Analytics Terms of Use (https://www.google.com/analytics/terms/us.html) and the Google Privacy Policy (https://www.google.com/policies/privacy/) However, you can prevent Google Analytics from recognizing you on return visits to the Web Site by disabling cookies on your browser.

Your browser software can be set to reject cookies. If you reject our cookies, certain of the functions and conveniences of the Web Site may not work properly, but you do not have to accept our cookies in order to productively use the Web Site. Use of the Web Site without restricting use of cookies means that you consent to the use, storing and access of cookies on your computer or other device.

The information collected by cookies may be used for the following purposes: (i) to help us generate content on web pages or in newsletters and make improvements to the Web Site, (ii) to allow us to statistically monitor how many people are using the Web Site and selected sites to which the Web Site links, (iii) to allow us to monitor how often different functions of the website are used, and (iv) to help us determine for what purposes these actions are being taken. We may use cookie information to target certain communications to your browser or device or to determine the popularity of certain content or links. Cookies may also be used as navigation aids.

As you use the Internet, a trail of electronic information is left at each Web site you visit. This information, which is sometimes referred to as “clickstream data”, can be collected and stored by a Web site’s server. Clickstream data can tell us the type of computer and browsing software you use and the address of the Web site from which you linked to the Web Site. We may use clickstream data as a form of non-personal information to anonymously determine how much time visitors spend on each page of the Web Site, how visitors navigate throughout the Web Site and how we may tailor our Web pages in the future to better meet the needs of visitors. This information will be used to improve our Web Site and our service offerings and will not include your personal information.

Do you Have to Share Personal Information?

While you may access certain information contained on the Web Site without providing personal information, you may elect to provide personal information when you use the tools and services on the Web Site. Accuracy of the personal information you submit will impact the usefulness of the services offered by NCOA and our ability to contact you as described in this Privacy Policy.

The Web Site may contain links to online public discussion forums. If you chose to share your personal information in such discussion forums, your information will be open to the public and should not be considered private. Whenever you voluntarily disclose personal information on public forums (such as on discussion forums, social media and email), that information may be collected and used by others. You may receive unsolicited messages from third parties in response to those posts. NCOA has no control over, and no responsibility or liability for, these parties.

Sharing personal information is entirely voluntary. This Privacy Policy does not apply to content, business information, ideas, concepts or inventions that you send to NCOA by email or by use of the Web Site to access public forums or social media. If you want to keep content, business information, ideas, concepts or inventions private or proprietary, do not send them in an email to NCOA or post them in any public forum.

How Does NCOA Handle Privacy and Security?

NCOA uses a variety of security measures designed to protect against loss, misuse, and alteration of the personal information it collects and maintains. The Web Site is hosted by a third party hosting provider using industry-standard security measures. Reasonable efforts are made to secure web servers, networks, host operating systems and databases against unauthorized access. We use a variety of security measures to protect personal information when stored or transmitted by NCOA, including Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption. Encryption translates data into code which cannot be read without access to a secret key or password.

In order to take advantage of encryption, you must have an Internet browser that supports 128-bit encryption.

Please remember that no security measures are foolproof; and NCOA cannot guarantee that information will be protected in all situations. We will make reasonable efforts to protect your personal information from unauthorized access.

How Do Terms of Use Apply to use of the Web Site?

This Privacy Policy co-exists with our Terms of Use displayed on the Web Site, and together both policies govern your use of this Web Site. By accessing, browsing or using the Web Site you acknowledge that you have read, understand and agree to this Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use. We encourage you to familiarize yourself with both this Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use. The Web Site Terms of Use may be found as a link on the page where this Privacy Policy is posted. If you do not agree with these terms (including any revisions to them), please do not use the Web Site.

How are Changes to This Privacy Policy Communicated?

We may change this Privacy Policy at any time by posting revisions to our Web Site. Your use of this Web Site means that you accept the terms of this Privacy Policy and your continued use after such changes are posted means that you accept the revised Privacy Policy.

Does NCOA Collect Personal Information from Children?

The Web Site is designed solely as a service for older adults. It is not designed to attract or be used by children under the age of 13. NCOA does not knowingly collect personal information from anyone under the age of 13, unless we first obtain permission from that child’s parent or legal guardian.

How Can I Contact NCOA About this Policy?

For more information about our privacy practices, or if you want to (1) delete your personal information from our systems, (2) update the personal information that you have provided to us, or (3) change your preferences with respect to marketing contacts or other activities, contact us by email at privacy@ncoa.org or write to us at 251 18th Street South, Suite 500, Arlington, VA 22202.