Information for active certified application counselor designated organizations (CDOs)

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) designates CDOs in the Federally-facilitated Marketplaces (FFMs) to certify their staff members or volunteers to act as certified application counselors (CACs) if certain requirements are met. A CDO is responsible for uploading and maintaining a CAC Roster, maintaining its CDO record with CMS, and renewing its CDO status using the CDO Organizational Maintenance Web Form within a time frame determined and communicated by CMS, typically every 2 years.

Additional resources regarding the CAC RosterCDO data maintenance, and CDO renewals can be found below.

Resources for accessing the CDO Organizational Maintenance Web Form:

Uploading and maintaining the CAC Roster

CMS provides one place for CDOs in the FFMs to collect and maintain CAC information, as well as to monitor CAC training completions.

All active CDOs in FFMs can keep a record of their individual CAC IDs and training completion status using the CAC Roster on the CDO Organizational Maintenance Web Form. This online roster allows CDOs in FFMs to track CACs in a consistent manner throughout their time with the organization, while ensuring they remain compliant with federal standards.

For plan year 2021 and beyond, maintaining a roster of CACs using the CDO Organizational Maintenance Web Form will be necessary for CACs to access annual certification training on the Marketplace Learning Management System (MLMS).

Things to keep in mind:

  • This feature will not automatically assign CAC IDs; the CAC Project Director is still responsible for assigning CAC IDs and documenting them on the CAC Roster in the Maintenance Web Form.
  • CACs need to document their IDs in the MLMS to get credit for completing training.

How to upload the CAC Roster:

  • The CDO's unique contacts, such as the CAC Project Director, will access the Maintenance Web Form to document the CACs’ full names, email addresses, and IDs.
  • If the CDO has more than five CACs, it must use the CAC Roster template. CDOs with five or fewer CACs have the option of adding their CACs manually.

CAC Roster resources:

Maintaining the CDO record

It is critical that CMS has up-to-date information for all active CDOs in the FFMs. Therefore, CDOs in the FFMs must maintain their records with CMS during the certification period, which is determined by CMS, and typically lasts 2 years.

Changes that require an update to a CDO’s records include updates to the organization’s name, address, list of contacts, service locations, enrollment assistance type (open enrollment only or year-round), specialty areas, or list of CACs.

How to update the CDO record:

All three unique contacts listed on the CDO’s record can update the organization’s information by accessing the CDO Organizational Maintenance web form.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Contacts must use the email address from the CDO record to access the web form.
  • Contacts can reset their access code if they forget it.
  • If none of the CDO contacts remain with the organization, email to update the CDO's contact information.
  • CMS requires that CDOs in the FFMs have at least two unique contacts: an Organization Senior Official and a CAC Project Director. Secondary contacts are optional.
  • If the CDO's contacts update the organization’s name, Organization Senior Official contact information, or operating state, the web form will prompt them to upload a newly dated and signed CMS-CDO agreement.

CDO maintenance resources:

Renewing the CDO status

CDOs in the FFMs must renew their certification within a time frame determined by CMS, typically 2 years from the effective date of acceptance into the CDO Program, to remain active and continue to provide enrollment assistance services.  A CDO MUST renew before its certification expires (i.e., the expiration date).

If the CDO does not renew its CDO certification before its expiration date, the CDO will become inactive. The CDO will need to re-apply since the CDO ID will no longer be valid. Per the CMS-CDO agreement, the CDO must also inform its CACs to stop providing enrollment assistance as CACs.

How to renew the CDO status:

All three unique contacts listed on a CDO’s record can renew its CDO status by accessing the CDO Organizational Maintenance web form, reviewing its CDO record, and uploading a newly dated and signed CMS-CDO agreement.

There are how-to guides for renewing your CDO status.

Things to keep in mind:

  • If the CDO added or removed service locations, the CDO ID may change. CMS will communicate this change after the CDO submits a newly dated and signed CMS-CDO agreement.
  • Expiration dates are specific to each organization. A CDO can verify its organization’s expiration date by emailing and including the organization’s name and CDO ID in the body of the email.

CDO renewal resources:

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