THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION. PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY.
Effective April 14, 2003
We are required by the privacy regulations issued under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”) to maintain the privacy of our Plan’s customers Protected Health Information, to provide those customers with notice of our legal duties and privacy practices with respect to Protected Health Information, and to send notification to affected customers if there is a breach of unsecured Protected Health Information. If your state provides privacy protections that are more stringent than those provided by HIPAA, we will maintain your Protected Health Information in accordance with the more stringent state standard.
This Notice applies to “Protected Health Information” associated with “Health Plans” issued by American Heritage Life Insurance Company.
This Notice describes how we may use and disclose Protected Health Information to perform claims handling, payment, general insurance operations, and for other purposes that are permitted or required by law. Use or disclosure of your Protected Health Information for the purposes described in this Notice may be made in writing, orally, or by electronic means.
We are required to abide by the terms of this Notice. However, we may change the terms of this Notice at any time. If we change this Notice, we may make the new notice terms effective for all of your Protected Health Information that we maintain, including any information we created or received prior to issuing the new notice. If we make a material revision to our Privacy Notice, copies will be sent to you if you are then currently insured under our Plan.
Protected Health Information means information about you that is created or received by us and during the administration of coverage under the Plan, which identifies you or for which there is a reasonable basis to believe the information can be used to identify you and that relates to:
Except as described in the next section of this Notice, we will not use or disclose your Protected Health Information for any purpose unless you have signed a form authorizing the use or disclosure. For example, most uses and disclosures of psychotherapy notes, uses and disclosures of Protected Health Information for marketing purposes, and disclosures that constitute a sale of Protected Health Information will be made only with your authorization. You have the right to revoke that authorization in writing at any time, except to the extent that we have already taken action in reliance on the authorization; or the authorization was obtained as a condition of obtaining coverage, to the extent that other law allows the insurer to contest a claim under the policy or the policy itself.
We may make use of and disclose your Protected Health Information without your written authorization as may be necessary for payment purposes. For example, we may use information regarding your medical procedures and treatment to process and pay claims or certify these services are covered under your Plan.
For Plan Administrative Operations.
We may make use of and disclose your Protected Health Information without your written authorization as necessary for our Plan administrative operations. Plan administrative operations include our usual business activities, examples of which are management, licensing, peer review, quality improvement and assurance, enrollment, underwriting, reinsurance, compliance, auditing, rating, claims handling, complaint handling and other functions related to your Plan. We are prohibited from using or disclosing genetic information for underwriting purposes.
To Individuals Involved In Your Care.
We may, without your written authorization, for the purposes of treatment, payment or Plan administrative operations, disclose the fact that you are covered under a Plan or that payment has been processed to a family member, other relative, your close personal friend or any other person you may identify. In these circumstances, we would not disclose any Protected Health Information which is not directly relevant to that person’s involvement with your care or with payment for your care.
If you have designated a person to receive information regarding payment of the premium or pay premium via credit card, we may inform that person or credit card facility when your premium has not been paid or received by us.
We may also disclose limited Protected Health Information to a public or private entity that is authorized to assist in disaster relief efforts in order for that entity to locate a family member or other persons that may be involved in some aspect of caring for you.
To Our Business Associates.
Certain aspects and components of our services are performed through contracts with outside persons or organizations. Examples of these may include, but are not limited to our duly appointed insurance agents, financial auditors, reinsurers, legal services, enrollment and billing services, claim payment and medical management services. We may provide access to your Protected Health Information without your written authorization to one or more of these outside persons or organizations who assist us with payment or Plan administrative operations. We require these business associates to appropriately safeguard the privacy of your information.
To Plan Sponsors.
If you are enrolled in a group health plan, we may share summary health information with your employer, union, or other employee organization that sponsors and maintains the group health plan, for purposes of obtaining premium bids; or modifying, amending, or terminating the group health plan; or enrollment and disenrollment information. Summary health information excludes genetic information.
For Other Products and Services.
We may contact you without your written authorization to provide information regarding Plan upgrades or additional benefits that may be of interest to you. For example, we may use the fact that you currently are insured under a Plan for the purpose of communicating to you about changes to our Plan or products that could enhance or add value to existing coverage.
For Disclosure With Authorization.
Unless otherwise excluded in this notice, we will not disclose any other Protected Health Information to any person or entity not specifically mentioned elsewhere in this Notice without your express written authorization.
For Other Uses and Disclosures.
We are permitted or required by law to make some other uses and disclosures of your Protected Health Information without your authorization. We may release your Protected Health Information:
Right to Inspect and Copy Your Protected Health Information.
You may have access to our records that contain your Protected Health Information in order to inspect and obtain copies of the records. Under limited circumstances, we may deny you access to a portion of your records. If you desire access to your records, please obtain a record request form from our Privacy Officer and submit the completed form to our Privacy Office. If you request copies, we may charge you copying and mailing costs. If you request a copy of your Protected Health Information in electronic form, we will provide it to you electronically only if the record is readily producible in electronic form.
Right to Amend Your Protected Health Information.
You have the right to request that we amend your Protected Health Information maintained in our enrollment, payment, claims adjudication and case or medical management records, or other records we use to make decisions about you. If you desire to amend these records, please obtain an amendment request form from our Privacy Officer and submit the completed form to our Privacy Office. We will comply with your request unless special circumstances apply. If your physician or other health care provider created the information that you desire to amend, you should contact the provider to amend the information.
Right to an Accounting of the Disclosures of Your Protected Health Information.
Upon request, you may obtain an accounting of certain disclosures of your Protected Health Information made by us on or after April 14, 2003, excluding disclosures made earlier than six years before the date of your request. If you request an accounting more than once during any 12 month period, we will charge you a reasonable fee for the subsequent accounting statements.
Right to Request Confidential Communications.
We will accommodate your reasonable request to receive communications of your Protected Health Information from us by alternative means of communication or at alternative locations if the request clearly states that disclosure of that information could endanger you.
Right to Request Restrictions on Use and Disclosure of Your Protected Health Information.
You have the right to request restrictions on some of our uses and disclosures of your Protected Health Information to family members and others involved in your care or payment for care; or some of our uses and disclosures used to carry out treatment, payment, or Plan administrative operations, by notifying us of your request for a restriction in writing mailed to the contact identified at the end of this Notice. Your request must describe in detail the restriction you are requesting. We are not required to agree to your restriction request but will attempt to accommodate your requests. We retain the right to terminate an agreed-to restriction. In the event of a termination of an agreed-to restriction by us, we will notify you of such termination, but the termination will only be effective for Protected Health Information we receive after we have notified you of the termination. You also have the right to terminate any agreed-to restriction by contacting us using the “Contact Information” provided at the end of this Notice.
You may exercise your rights through a personal representative who will be required to produce evidence of his or her authority to act on your behalf. Proof of authority may be made by a notarized power of attorney, a court order of appointment of the person as your legal guardian or conservator, or if you are the parent of a minor child. We reserve the right to deny access to your personal representative.
Right to Receive Paper Copy of this Notice.
You may obtain a copy of this Notice. You may obtain a paper copy of this Notice even if you agreed to receive such notice electronically. Please contact us and we will mail it to you.
If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you can file a complaint with the Plan or with the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. To file a complaint with the Plan, send it in writing to the “Contact Information” at the address listed at the end of this Notice. There will be no retaliation for filing a complaint.
You may obtain a copy of this Notice by writing to us at the contact address below.
If you have questions or need further assistance regarding this Notice, you may contact:
Attn: HIPAA Privacy Officer
1776 American Heritage Life Drive
Jacksonville, Florida 32224
Or, you may telephone the Customer Care Center at 1-800-521-3535.