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Certified application counselor designated organization (CDO)

Certified application counselor designated organizations (CDOs) are a vital component of the assister community. In the Federally-facilitated Marketplace, CDOs oversee certified application counselors (CACs) who are trained and able to help consumers seeking health coverage options through the Marketplace. In order to be designated as a CDO, you must submit an online application and enter into an agreement with CMS. If you would like to serve as a CDO, you can apply to become a CDO.  

What does a CDO do?

As a CDO, your staff and volunteers will help people understand, apply, and enroll in health coverage through the Marketplace. Your organization must agree to make sure that your individual CACs complete required training and comply with privacy and security laws, and other program standards.

Your organization must: 

  1. Have processes in place to screen your staff to make sure that they protect consumer information
  2. Have processes for certifying CACs, who provide Marketplace application and enrollment assistance to consumers

Why become a CDO?

  • Your CACs will gain access to annual training via the Marketplace Learning Management System (MLMS) so they can provide Marketplace application and enrollment assistance to consumers.
  • CMS will provide your organization and CACs with important assister information and updates via webinars and newsletters.
  • Your organization also may post your listings on our online directory, Find Local Help, to assist consumers with enrollment assistance.
  • Your organization will receive general support via the CAC Questions inbox at as well as technical support for consumer assistance via the Marketplace Call Center.

Please note that CMS does not certify assister organizations in states operating in State-based Marketplaces (SBMs) or State-based Marketplaces using the Federal Platform (SBMs-FP).

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