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How Secure Is Your Private Information?

It's not always easy to divulge personal, private medical information to others, even your doctor. These days, all of us need to worry about the safety, security and privacy of such information. How safe is the information you give to California health insurance provider and do you need to take extra steps to protect that information?

In the medical field, the majority of personal medical and health information is protected under the 1996 HIPAA rule, which stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. On top of that, the Information Practices Act (IPA) oversees the collection, use and disclosure of personal information compiled or held by State entities.  In essence, information practices by state are modeled after the Federal Privacy Act guaranteeing privacy and confidentiality.

In addition, California adopted a modified plan of the National Association of Insurance Commissioner’s model of Insurance Information and Privacy Protection Act (IIPAA), which specifies different individuals’ right to access information compiled by or held by insurers. In plain English, that means that health insurance agents and providers are not allowed to divulge information except to certain parties that are legally entitled to such information.

California has statutes in place that allow patients the right to access to their health care information from California health care providers, insurers, HMOs, and state agencies. The State also has extensive rules governing the use and disclosure of health care information by these entities. For more information regarding an individual's specific rights regarding medical information privacy, check out the HIPAA ruling at www.hipaa.org/ or www.hhs.gov for information regarding CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services) for privacy standards, law, and regulations per state.

California Health Insurance Companies and your Privacy

California health insurance companies are aware of multiple steps that must be taken to secure private information. This includes limitation of utilizing electronic methods of transmitting information such as via fax or e-mail. Applications received online do however utilize cookies for the application and form-filing verification and filing purposes. California heath insurance agents and companies do not share private and personal information with other than licensed agents, insurance companies or when legal obligations require them to share information for the application and insurance quote process.

Electronic procedures to protect information are adequate in most cases and provide clients and individuals with confidentiality. SSL (Secure Socket Layer) technology provides safeguards to private information, as do the use of carefully chosen usernames and passwords when utilizing website forms, emails and other forms of electronic contact.

For those who still hesitate to complete information online, most California health insurance agents, carriers and medical providers, as well as those from around the U.S., offer PDF forms that may be downloaded, filled out by hand, and mailed to the health insurance agent or medical care provider if preferred.

It is also up to individuals to do their best to protect privacy when using the Internet. Use proper caution and common sense when online. Always log out of a website when finished, and take care to develop strong passwords that contain at least one numeral, one capital letter and are not easy to figure out. Change passwords every six months or so for added security when accessing websites that require logins - from your health insurance provider to your bank account.

Apply for California Health Insurance Online with our Secure Links

Matts California Health Insurance Services prides itself on keeping your information secure. We provide California and Texas residence with instant California Health Insurance quotes from leading carriers like Anthem Blue Cross of California, Health Net, Blue Shield of California, Kaiser Permanente, PacifiCare, United Health Care, Aetna Health Plans, Celtic Health Insurance plans and more. When you’re ready to apply for coverage we provide you with secure carrier direct links if you want to apply for health insurance online. If you would prefer to fill out an application by hand we have the most up to date California Health Insurance applications ready to print. Just follow the link at the top of the page that says “Apply Online!”. There you will find a link to our printable California Health Insurance Applications.

 

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