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California: Governor approves bill on confidentiality of medical information

The California Governor approved, on 22 September 2021, 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. In particular, the Act would:

  • require health care service plans or health insurers to accommodate requests for 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;
  • prohibit health care 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;
  • require health care service plans or health insurers to direct all communications regarding a protected individual's receipt of sensitive services directly to the protected individual, and prohibit the disclosure of that information to the policyholder, primary subscriber, or any plan enrollees without the authorisation of the protected individual;
  • require health care service plans to notify subscribers and enrollees, and a health insurer to notify insureds, that they may request a confidential communication in a specified format and how to make the request, and would require health care service plans and health insurers to provide the information in a specified manner, including on the internet website of the health care service plan or health insurer.

The Act is due to take effect on 1 July 2022.

You can read the Act and view its history here.