Your Right to Request Confidential Communications of Medical Information (CCMI) and our Obligation to Protect the Confidentiality of Sensitive Services Information For a Protected Individual
California law says subscribers and enrollees (“members”) of a healthcare service plan1 (“plan”) can choose how they would like the plan to communicate with them. They can provide the address, email, or telephone number they’d like the plan to use. That’s how the plan will contact them about medical details, healthcare providers, and other plan information.
A subscriber is the person who is responsible for plan payments or is eligible for the plan based on their job or other qualifications. An enrollee is a person covered by the plan or who receives services from it.
California also has special communication rules for protected individuals. They are covered adults or minors who can consent to care without permission from a parent or legal guardian. Protected individuals must be able to give informed consent for healthcare services.
Under California law, plans can’t tell the primary policyholder that a protected individual received sensitive services, unless they have the recipient’s permission. Sensitive services are all healthcare services related to mental or behavioral health; sexual and reproductive health; sexually transmitted infections; substance use disorder; gender-affirming care; intimate partner violence; or other care outlined by law.
Protected individuals can ask a plan to contact them about sensitive services at a different address, email, or phone number. If they don’t provide one, the plan will contact them by name using the method on file.
Members will be given details about the confidential communication request process when they enroll in or renew a plan. They can also submit a CCMI request by calling the Member Services toll free number on their Member ID card. The plan will honor their request until the member asks for it to be changed. The plan will send a confirmation letter to the member to let them know their confidential communications request was received. The member can ask for the status of their request by contacting the plan.
SPECIAL INFORMATION FOR MINORS: An amendment to California law (Assembly Bill (AB) 1184) prohibits healthcare service plans and health insurers from disclosing information about sensitive services that a minor age 12-17 has received, without the minor’s written consent. Because minors in California have the right to consent to these services on their own, without the consent of a parent or guardian, only the minor’s written authorization is valid for the release of this information to a parent, policy holder, primary subscriber, or any plan enrollee. Furthermore, the healthcare service plan or health insurer must direct all communications about the minor’s receipt of sensitive services directly to the minor, and they are prohibited from disclosing the information to the policy holder, primary subscriber, or any plan enrollee, without the minor’s written authorization.
We understand that limiting parents’ access to certain information about their children’s health care may be inconvenient, but it is necessary to comply with California law that prioritizes protection of children’s privacy in certain circumstances.
If a minor dependent would like to allow permission to their sensitive information, they must complete the form below.
Click here for the California Minor’s Authorization Form
Frequently Asked Questions
In September 2021, the California State Assembly passed an amendment to a current state law, Assembly Bill (AB) 1184. The amendment changes how healthcare plans and healthcare providers protect the privacy of patients who receive certain sensitive services. Here’s what you need to know.