Confidentiality and Health Insurance

If you are a dependent:

For dependents who have a parent or other party paying for their health insurance, some confidentiality concerns may arise. This guide will inform you about insurance laws and privacy regulations for dependents. 

An Explanation of benefits (EOB) is a document sent yearly to a policyholder by an insurance carrier. The EOB is a summary of the services a policyholder uses in a given year. For a dependent (i.e. a student on a parent’s insurance) the EOB documents all services of the dependent to the policyholder.

In some states (listed here) the private health information (PHI) of dependents must be protected. These students* can use the following process to keep their insurance private from their policyholder:

  1. Identify your insurance carrier and your policy number. Have this information on hand when calling your provider. 
  2. Check the protection status of PHI to see if your insurance company is required to honor your request for privacy.  If you are not protected by state law, your insurance company may still honor your request to send PHI directly to you.
  3. Call your insurance company.
  4. Request that your PHI is removed from your policyholder’s EOB and sent directly to you at your campus address.
  5. Your insurance carrier will tell you if your request is possible. 
  6. To maintain your privacy, consider using online pharmacies when possible.  Online pharmacies are less likely to have your family’s or policyholder’s information on file. 

* Students not in these protected states may also request personal EOB information to be sent to the dependent instead of the policyholder. Insurance companies are not required to honor this request. 

More information in this process for dependents is found here.