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Confidentiality in Healthcare
A Massachusetts resident receiving health insurance as a dependent on the health plan of a parent, spouse, or other family member, may have the right to privacy violated through an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) sent to the primary subscriber outlining recent health care procedures, including reproductive healthcare and other sensitive healthcare information.
Lack of confidentiality negatively impacts individuals of all genders and life circumstances, but especially affects young women, members of the LGBTQ community, people living with HIV/AIDS, domestic violence survivors, people with substance abuse or mental health issues, and individuals whose partners/families oppose or would limit access to their health care services.
NARAL supports An Act to protect access to confidential healthcare (H.971, S.D.1021) to:
- Ensure EOBs are sent directly to each patient and that each patient can choose to receive her/his EOB at an alternate address or electronically;
- Guarantee EOBs are not sent for preventive health services with no cost sharing (e.g., an STI test or a domestic violence counseling session); and
- Require EOBs to list only generic information when sensitive care is received, such as "office visit” or "medical service.”