Is it legal within the HIPAA law for your Life Insurance Broker to tell others about my private medial records?

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Asked October 19, 2015

1 Answer

Like with so many things in life, the answer is It depends". Generally speaking, it is not legal for your broker to divulge Protected Health Information, including medical records. However, there are a few exceptions. Protected Health Information can be disclosed to facilitate treatment or payment. Under certain circumstances, it can also be disclosed to law enforcement personnel for purposes of law enforcement.

Let's look at some examples to more clearly illustrate the idea. Let's say you are going through a nasty divorce and your husband wants some dirt on you and he goes to your broker and asks for records, hoping to do an end run around the hospital records department because they have already denied him access. In this case, if the broker knows their stuff, the broker should also deny the ex husband access to your records. It is illegal for the broker to give people Protected Health Information unless it is for specific purposes allowed under the Privacy Rule. The broker should not divulge this information to random people just because they ask, such as your mother, ex husband, coworker or next door neighbor.

However, if your insurance company calls your broker for some reason, that is probably a situation where it is legal for the broker to share information. Your insurance company is probably calling to try to get the information it needs to determine whether or not to pay a claim. A broker may be someone who has the information they need and disclosing it to the insurance company for purposes of getting the claim paid is a valid disclosure under the HIPAA Privacy Rule.

In some cases, you can provide written authorization for your records to be shared with other people, beyond the people that normally get access. For example, if you are pursuing a legal case where your records would be germane to the case, you can provide your legal team with a Third Party Authorization. This would make it legal for them to seek copies of your Protected Health Information, such as medical records.

Additionally, if you have given someone a Power of Attorney or similar legal authorization, they may be able to legally access records. However, HIPAA is so strict that even parents who are still providing insurance coverage for their adult children (age 18 or over) cannot request a copy of their adult child's medical records without first obtaining proper written authorization.""

Answered October 22, 2015 by quotebroker

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