This bill has been amended

Bill S1031-2011

Requires insurers to provide victims of domestic violence with the option of providing alternative contact information

Requires health insurers to provide an insurer or subscriber who is a victim of domestic violence, upon request of such insurer or subscriber, with the option to designate alternative contact information for the purpose of receiving specific claim information or for specific billing purposes.

Details

Actions

  • Feb 28, 2011: ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • Feb 15, 2011: 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • Feb 14, 2011: 1ST REPORT CAL.86
  • Jan 5, 2011: REFERRED TO INSURANCE

Meetings

Calendars

Votes

VOTE: COMMITTEE VOTE: - Insurance - Feb 14, 2011
Ayes (16): Seward, Flanagan, Gallivan, Golden, Grisanti, Lanza, Larkin, LaValle, Saland, Young, Breslin, Diaz, Espaillat, Kennedy, Parker, Smith
Ayes W/R (2): Kruger, Peralta

Memo

 BILL NUMBER:  S1031

TITLE OF BILL : An act to amend the insurance law and the public health law, in relation to allowing victims of domestic violence the opportunity to designate an alternate address for insurance claims or billing purposes

PURPOSE : Requires health insurers to provide victims of domestic violence with the option of providing alternative contact information so that they may be able to access their benefits.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS : Section 1: Adds Insurance Law section 3217-a (a) (16-a) to require health insurers to provide notice of the option to designate alternative contact information, upon written request by a victim of domestic violence, for the purpose of receiving specific claim information or for specific billing purposes.

Section 2: Adds Insurance Law section 3234-a to require health insurers to provide victims of domestic violence, upon written request with the option of designating alternative contact information for the purpose of receiving specific claim information or for specific billing purposes.

Section 3: Adds Insurance Law section 4324(a) (19) to require HMOs and other insurers that offer health care coverage in New York to offer the same notice to victims of domestic violence as stated above with regard to designating alternative contact information.

Section 4: Adds Public Health Law section 4408(1) (s) to require HMOs that offer managed care health insurance products must offer the same notice to victims of domestic violence as stated above with regard to designating alternative contact information.

Section 5: Adds Insurance Law section 2612(h) to require health insurers to offer the same notice to victims of domestic violence as stated above.

For all bill sections amended under this bill, the term "victim of domestic violence" shall have the same meaning as "victim of domestic violence" is defined in Social Services Law section 459-a.

JUSTIFICATION : This legislation allows victims of domestic violence to seek medical and mental health services and to use their health insurance and other insurance coverages to pay for those services without fear that insurance claims forms and billing correspondence will be sent to the address of the policyholder, who may be the alleged abuser. Instead, this bill will allow victims of domestic violence to designate alternative contact information so they can receive insurance correspondence related to their health care or process other related insurance claims in a safe location of their own choosing, such as the home of a friend or family member, a post office box or a shelter.

This bill will help protect the privacy and safety of domestic abuse victims regardless of whether they remain in the same household with their abuser. Victims who leave abusive environments will be better able to access important medical and mental health care services if they can use their existing health insurance without fear that claim and billing correspondence will reveal their location or other sensitive information. Similarly, individuals living in abusive situations will also be more likely to seek necessary treatment if their privacy can be assured, and that treatment may be able to help them connect with the resources available in their communities to help victims of domestic violence.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY : 2010 - S.5980-A - Referred to Insurance 2009 - S.5980 - Passed the Senate 2008 - S.2245 - Referred to Insurance

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS : None.

EFFECTIVE DATE : This act shall take effect on January 1st of the year next succeeding the date upon which it becomes law and shall apply to policies and contracts issued, renewed, altered or modified on or after such effective date.

Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1031 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 5, 2011 ___________
Introduced by Sens. KLEIN, KRUEGER, MONTGOMERY, SAVINO, SQUADRON -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Insurance AN ACT to amend the insurance law and the public health law, in relation to allowing victims of domestic violence the opportunity to designate an alternate address for insurance claims or billing purposes THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Paragraph 16 of subsection (a) of section 3217-a of the insurance law, as added by chapter 705 of the laws of 1996, is amended and a new paragraph 16-a is added to read as follows: (16) notice of all appropriate mailing addresses and telephone numbers to be utilized by insureds seeking information or authorization; [and] (16-A) NOTICE OF THE OPTION TO DESIGNATE AN ALTERNATIVE MAILING ADDRESS, TELEPHONE NUMBER OR OTHER ALTERNATIVE CONTACT INFORMATION FOR THE PURPOSE OF RECEIVING SPECIFIC CLAIM INFORMATION OR FOR SPECIFIC BILLING PURPOSES PURSUANT TO SECTION THREE THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED THIRTY- FOUR-A OF THIS ARTICLE WHEN THE REQUESTED DESIGNATION IS SUBMITTED TO SUCH INSURER BY A WRITTEN ATTESTATION BY A VICTIM OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE STATING THAT THE DISCLOSURE OF SUCH INFORMATION COULD ENDANGER HIM OR HER; AND S 2. The insurance law is amended by adding a new section 3234-a to read as follows: S 3234-A. ALTERNATIVE CONTACT INFORMATION FOR VICTIMS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. (A) EVERY INSURER, CORPORATION ORGANIZED PURSUANT TO ARTICLE FORTY-THREE OF THIS CHAPTER, MUNICIPAL COOPERATIVE HEALTH BENEFITS PLAN CERTIFIED PURSUANT TO ARTICLE FORTY-SEVEN OF THIS CHAPTER AND HEALTH MAINTENANCE ORGANIZATION CERTIFIED PURSUANT TO ARTICLE FORTY-FOUR OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH LAW IS REQUIRED TO PROVIDE ANY INSURED OR SUBSCRIBER WHO IS A VICTIM OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, UPON WRITTEN REQUEST OF SUCH INSURED
OR SUBSCRIBER, WITH THE OPTION TO DESIGNATE AN ALTERNATIVE MAILING ADDRESS, TELEPHONE NUMBER OR OTHER ALTERNATIVE CONTACT INFORMATION FOR THE PURPOSE OF RECEIVING SPECIFIC CLAIM INFORMATION OR FOR SPECIFIC BILLING PURPOSES. (B) THE WRITTEN REQUEST REQUIRED BY SUBSECTION (A) OF THIS SECTION SHALL BE IN THE FORM OF AN ATTESTATION STATING THAT THE DISCLOSURE OF SUCH INFORMATION COULD ENDANGER THE INSURED OR SUBSCRIBER. (C) FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, THE TERM "VICTIM OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE" SHALL HAVE THE SAME MEANING AS CONTAINED IN SECTION FOUR HUNDRED FIFTY-NINE-A OF THE SOCIAL SERVICES LAW. S 3. Paragraphs 17 and 18 of subsection (a) of section 4324 of the insurance law, as added by chapter 705 of the laws of 1996, are amended and a new paragraph 19 is added to read as follows: (17) where applicable, a listing by specialty, which may be in a sepa- rate document that is updated annually, of the name, address, and tele- phone number of all participating providers, including facilities, and in addition, in the case of physicians, board certification; [and] (18) a description of the mechanisms by which subscribers may partic- ipate in the development of the policies of the corporation[.]; AND (19) NOTICE OF THE OPTION TO DESIGNATE AN ALTERNATIVE MAILING ADDRESS, TELEPHONE NUMBER OR OTHER ALTERNATIVE CONTACT INFORMATION FOR THE PURPOSE OF RECEIVING SPECIFIC CLAIM INFORMATION OR FOR SPECIFIC BILLING PURPOSES PURSUANT TO SECTION THREE THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED THIRTY-FOUR-A OF THIS CHAPTER WHEN THE REQUESTED DESIGNATION IS SUBMITTED TO SUCH CORPO- RATION BY A WRITTEN ATTESTATION BY A VICTIM OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE STATING THAT THE DISCLOSURE OF SUCH INFORMATION COULD ENDANGER HIM OR HER. S 4. Paragraphs (q) and (r) of subdivision 1 of section 4408 of the public health law, as added by chapter 705 of the laws of 1996, are amended and a new paragraph (s) is added to read as follows: (q) notice of all appropriate mailing addresses and telephone numbers to be utilized by enrollees seeking information or authorization; [and] (r) a listing by specialty, which may be in a separate document that is updated annually, of the name, address and telephone number of all participating providers, including facilities, and, in addition, in the case of physicians, board certification[.]; AND (S) NOTICE OF THE OPTION TO DESIGNATE AN ALTERNATIVE MAILING ADDRESS, TELEPHONE NUMBER OR OTHER ALTERNATIVE CONTACT INFORMATION FOR THE PURPOSE OF RECEIVING SPECIFIC CLAIM INFORMATION OR FOR SPECIFIC BILLING PURPOSES PURSUANT TO SECTION THREE THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED THIRTY-FOUR-A OF THE INSURANCE LAW WHEN THE REQUESTED DESIGNATION IS SUBMITTED TO THE HEALTH MAINTENANCE ORGANIZATION BY A WRITTEN ATTESTATION BY A VICTIM OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE STATING THAT THE DISCLOSURE OF SUCH INFORMATION COULD ENDANGER HIM OR HER. S 5. Section 2612 of the insurance law is amended by adding a new subsection (h) to read as follows: (H) IN ACCORDANCE WITH AND SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH SIXTEEN-A OF SUBSECTION (A) OF SECTION THREE THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED SEVEN- TEEN-A, SECTION THREE THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED THIRTY-FOUR-A AND PARAGRAPH NINETEEN OF SUBSECTION (A) OF SECTION FOUR THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED TWEN- TY-FOUR OF THIS CHAPTER, AND PARAGRAPH (S) OF SUBDIVISION ONE OF SECTION FORTY-FOUR HUNDRED EIGHT OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH LAW, IF ANY PERSON COVERED BY AN INSURANCE POLICY OR CONTRACT ISSUED TO ANOTHER PERSON AS THE POLI- CY HOLDER OR SUBSCRIBER DELIVERS TO THE ISSUER OF SUCH POLICY OR CONTRACT, AT ITS HOME OFFICE, A NOTICE THAT SUCH INSURED OR SUBSCRIBER IS A VICTIM OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, THEN SUCH ISSUER SHALL HONOR THE REQUEST OF SUCH VICTIM TO DESIGNATE AN ALTERNATIVE MAILING ADDRESS,
TELEPHONE NUMBER OR OTHER ALTERNATIVE CONTACT INFORMATION FOR THE PURPOSE OF RECEIVING SPECIFIC CLAIM INFORMATION OR FOR SPECIFIC BILLING PURPOSES. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SUBSECTION, THE TERM "VICTIM OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE" SHALL HAVE THE SAME MEANING AS CONTAINED IN SECTION FOUR HUNDRED FIFTY-NINE-A OF THE SOCIAL SERVICES LAW. S 6. This act shall take effect on the first of January next succeed- ing the date on which it shall have become a law and shall apply to all policies and contracts issued, renewed, altered or modified on or after such effective date.

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