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California: Act on confidentiality of medical information takes effect

Assembly Bill ('AB') 1184 which amends the Confidentiality of Medical Information Act and the Insurance Information and Privacy Protection Act regarding the confidentiality of medical information entered, on 1 July 2022, into effect. In particular, the Act:

  • requires healthcare service plans or health insurers to accommodate requests for the confidential communication of medical information, regardless of whether there is a situation involving sensitive services or a situation in which disclosure would endanger the individual;
  • prohibits healthcare service plans or health insurers from requiring a protected individual to obtain the policyholder, primary subscriber, or other enrollee's authorisation to receive sensitive services or to submit a claim for sensitive services if the protected individual has the right to consent to care; 
  • requires healthcare service plans or health insurers to direct all communications regarding a protected individual's receipt of sensitive services directly to the protected individual;
  • prohibits the disclosure of such information to the policyholder, primary subscriber, or any plan enrollees without the authorisation of the protected individual;
  • requires healthcare service plans to notify subscribers and enrollees, and health insurers to notify insurees, that they may request a confidential communication in a specified format and how to make the request; and
  • requires healthcare service plans and health insurers to provide information following requests for such in a specified manner, including on the internet website of the healthcare service plan or health insurer.

You can read the Act and view its history here.