Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Privacy, disclosure and your health insurance.

Did you know that if you are on a health insurance policy with your spouse, your insurance company can no longer disclose information regarding your spouse's claims to you, deductibles or other cumulative data? You may sidestep this by taking the precautionary step of submitting some form of standard authorization form to your health insurance company.

The idea behind all this is that under terms of HIPAA regulations, everyone's privacy will be protected. It seems to me this could cause tremendously confusing situations when one spouse is incapacitated in hospital, ratcheting up stress levels for the one who remains whole and is trying to cobble together a plan of action.

I believe the default setting should be that people who want to withhold such information from their partners should bear the burden of notifying their health care providers not to disclose such information, but noooooooo. There has to be all this regulation to punish the kids who weren't acting up.

It's all quite tedious, really. Anyway, this is by way of a public service announcement.


Anonymous said...

HIPAA is deadly.

Myron said...

And here's an interesting tidbit for you based on a lot of experience in the crazy you mention. If I call Medicare and ask something about Mrs Myron's benefits the person on the other end asks if she knows I'm calling and hand her the phone so she can tell them so. I can log on to the Medicare w3bz thing and look at everything. Sometimes the secondary insurance folks will ask if she knows I'm calling and be happy. Mail-in pharmacy, same thing.

Mauser*Girl said...

Like they need to make HIPAA regulations MORE confusing and convoluted. Urgh.

Rabbit said...

When SWMBO had surgery last summer the nurses and doctors were led to believe Incubus #1's girlfriend was her daughter. Took awhile for me to get that straightened out, but we needed a 'come to Jesus moment' anyway.

Interestingly, when she was in ICU there wasn't a lot done to keep folks (mostly her coworkers) from walking through the 'no visitors/no admittance' signage on her door, either. Another 'come to Jesus' experience. After that, I think the staff came to me to approve their break times. I'm not intimidating, but I am scary.


Brigid said...

I've been in ICU once in the last 5 years. Lifeflighted in and spent 3 nights in critical care. NO ONE in my family was notified. I get home a week or so later and my Dad was like "were you on vacation?".

I'm single so they look at the paperwork and say "oh, no husband, so we don't have to tell anyone".

Now, I have a couple friends that check in with me via email or phone every day or so. If I go missing and wasn't expected to, they'll start calling work and such and will check on Barkley