The Federal Communications Commission offered official guidance to federal and state governmental agencies and partners, enabling them to make Medicaid enrollment-related calls and texts without potentially violating robocall and robotext prohibitions contained in the TCPA. And the
The move by the FCC comes after concerns from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that the use of texts and automated, prerecorded calls intended to help over 86 million people enrolled in government health programs maintain their coverage may violate the TCPA.
As our friend Eric Troutman writes at TCPAWorld, the FCC’s declaratory ruling “finds, in essence, that any reasonable consumer would expect that by providing [their phone] number on the application [for service,] they might receive autodialed and prerecorded calls from the government related to their health coverage.”
Troutman continues, writing that the ruling was both predictable and probably unnecessary. As outbound call centers should be well aware, the FCC recognizes that express consent can be presumed for non-marketing messages delivered to consumers who have provided their phone numbers for “closely related” purposes.
Also contained in the FCC’s ruling, the full text of which can be found here, was a reminder to use the reassigned numbers database (RND):
“We emphasize that even calls made to telephone numbers that have been provided by the called party may be subject to TCPA liability if the number has been reassigned from the person who provided consent. As NCLC notes, the Reassigned Numbers Database (RND) is a critical tool callers should use to avoid calling a person whose telephone number has been reassigned to another individual.”
While the FCC’s ruling ultimately did not break any new ground it serves as a prompt for call centers, whether in the health insurance industry or elsewhere, to refocus on TCPA compliance fundamentals in the year ahead.
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