Navigating Privacy and Confidentiality with Your Health Insurance Company | University of Portland

Navigating Privacy and Confidentiality with Your Health Insurance Company

The following information pertains to your right to privacy in regards to your health insurance company. The Student Health Center is not responsible for protected health information that is sent from your health insurance company to your policyholder (i.e. a parent or other guardian/ family member who pays for your health insurance plan).

Request for Confidential Communication

Under Oregon State Law, you are guaranteed the right to have protected health information sent directly to you instead of the person who pays for your health insurance. To request to have this information shared directly with you via either email, telephone, or at a different mailing address, you should do the following before scheduling a medical appointment.

  1. Complete and sign the Oregon Request for Confidential Communication form.
    A request for confidential communication prevents your insurance provider from sending Explanations of Benefits (EOBs) and other communications to the insurance policyholder (probably Mom or Dad), and instead requests that EOBs be sent directly to the person who actually received the services (you). 
  2. Have your health insurance card ready and call your insurance company.
    Inform them that you want to submit a request for confidential communication so that your parents/guardians/spouse do not receive information about healthcare services that you receive.
    You will need to give them your name and Member ID/ Policy ID number that are on your insurance card.
    Ask them how they would like you to submit the form.
  3. Submit your completed and signed Request for Confidential Communication form to your insurance company, following the instructions that they gave you.
  4. Call your insurance company in 1-2 weeks to confirm whether or not your request for confidential communication has been processed.
    Note that it can take at least 7 days or up to a 1 month for requests to be processed.

If you receive healthcare services before making a request for confidential communication, or before the request has been processed, your Explanation of Benefits (EOB) containing your personal health information will be sent to the policyholder for your health insurance plan.

Important Privacy & Confidentiality Terms to Know

A dependent is someone who relies on someone else for their primary source of income (this may or may not be you depending on your financial situation).

The guarantor or policyholder is the person that the health insurance policy is under (i.e. the person who pays for the health insurance policy). In a family plan, this is typically a parent.

An Explanation of Benefits (EOB) is a statement you receive from your insurance company that shows the services and procedures performed, the amount your health insurance plan paid for those services/procedures, and any remaining balance that you will be responsible for. An EOB is not a bill.