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.
Ayes (57): Adams, Addabbo, Alesi, Avella, Ball, Bonacic, Breslin, Carlucci, DeFrancisco, Dilan, Duane, Espaillat, Farley, Flanagan, Fuschillo, Gianaris, Golden, Griffo, Grisanti, Hannon, Hassell-Thomps, Huntley, Johnson, Kennedy, Klein, Krueger, Kruger, Lanza, Larkin, LaValle, Libous, Little, Marcellino, Martins, Maziarz, McDonald, Montgomery, Nozzolio, O'Mara, Parker, Peralta, Perkins, Ranzenhofer, Ritchie, Rivera, Robach, Saland, Sampson, Savino, Serrano, Seward, Skelos, Stavisky, Stewart-Cousin, Valesky, Young, Zeldin
Excused (5): Diaz, Gallivan, Oppenheimer, Smith, Squadron
Ayes (61): Adams, Addabbo, Alesi, Avella, Ball, Bonacic, Breslin, Carlucci, DeFrancisco, Diaz, Dilan, Duane, Espaillat, Farley, Flanagan, Fuschillo, Gallivan, Gianaris, Golden, Griffo, Grisanti, Hannon, Hassell-Thomps, Huntley, Johnson, Kennedy, Klein, Krueger, Lanza, Larkin, LaValle, Libous, Little, Marcellino, Martins, Maziarz, McDonald, Montgomery, Nozzolio, O'Mara, Oppenheimer, Parker, Peralta, Perkins, Ranzenhofer, Ritchie, Rivera, Robach, Saland, Sampson, Savino, Serrano, Seward, Skelos, Smith, Squadron, Stavisky, Stewart-Cousin, Valesky, Young, Zeldin
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the insurance law, in relation to allowing victims of domestic violence the opportunity to designate an alternate address for health insurance claims or billing purposes
PURPOSE: Requires health insurers and health maintenance organizations to provide victims of domestic violence with the option of providing alternative contact information so that they may be able to access their claims information and benefits in a manner that shields and protects them from their abuser.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1: Amends Insurance Law section 2612 to make a technical change and cross reference, also adds Insurance Law section 2612 (h) to require health insurers and health maintenance organizations (HMOs) to give victims of domestic violence with the option to designate alternative contact information, for themselves and their dependent children, upon written request by such a victim of domestic violence. The written request must be in a form of a written attestation of the insured, subscriber, or covered person, that such person is a victim of domestic violence. Once such attestation has been filed, an alternative mailing address, telephone number or other contact information shall be used for the purpose of receiving specific claims information or for specific billing purposes.
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. The "B" print amendment added section one of the bill that involves a cross reference issue and alters the effective date language.
Section 2: Effective date.
JUSTIFICATION: This legislation allows victims of domestic violence to seek medical and mental health services and to utilize their health insurance to pay for those services without fear that insurance claims, forms, or billing correspondence will be sent to the address of the policyholder, which may be the same address as the alleged abuser. Instead, this bill will give victims of domestic violence the opportunity 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 also applies to the dependent children of such victim of domestic violence.
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 or not. 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 medical 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.
2010: S.5980-A - Passed Senate 2009: S.5980 - Passed 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.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1031--B Cal. No. 86 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 -- reported favorably from said committee, ordered to first and second report, ordered to a third reading, amended and ordered reprinted, retaining its place in the order of third reading -- again amended and ordered reprinted, retaining its place in the order of third reading AN ACT to amend the insurance law, in relation to allowing victims of domestic violence the opportunity to designate an alternate address for health 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. Subsection (e) of section 2612 of the insurance law, as amended by chapter 361 of the laws of 2006, is amended and a new subsection (h) is added to read as follows: (e) An insurer that complies with subsections (a), (f)
[and], (g) AND (H) of this section and acts reasonably and in good faith shall not be subject to civil or criminal liability on account of compliance with such subsections. (H) NOTWITHSTANDING THE DEFINITIONS ESTABLISHED IN PARAGRAPHS TWO AND THREE OF SUBSECTION (C) OF THIS SECTION, EVERY INSURER, CORPORATION, ORGANIZATION AND PROVIDER WHICH ISSUES A POLICY OR CONTRACT WHICH PROVIDES COVERAGE FOR HOSPITAL, SURGICAL OR MEDICAL COVERAGE, OR SIMILAR COMPREHENSIVE TYPE COVERAGE, PURSUANT TO ARTICLE THIRTY-TWO OR FORTY-THREE OF THIS CHAPTER OR ARTICLE FORTY-FOUR OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH LAW, SHALL PROVIDE ANY INSURED, SUBSCRIBER OR COVERED PERSON WHO IS A VICTIM OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, UPON WRITTEN REQUEST OF SUCH INSURED, SUBSCRIBER OR COVERED PERSON, WITH THE OPTION TO DESIGNATE AN ALTERNA- TIVE MAILING ADDRESS, TELEPHONE NUMBER OR OTHER CONTACT INFORMATION FOR THE PURPOSE OF RECEIVING SPECIFIC CLAIM INFORMATION OR FOR SPECIFICEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD04851-04-1 S. 1031--B 2
BILLING PURPOSES RELATING SPECIFICALLY TO SUCH INSURED, SUBSCRIBER OR COVERED PERSON. SUCH REQUESTED DESIGNATION SHALL BE GRANTED UPON THE WRITTEN ATTESTATION OF THE INSURED, SUBSCRIBER OR COVERED PERSON THAT HE OR SHE IS A VICTIM OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND THE DISCLOSURE OF SUCH INFORMATION WOULD ENDANGER HIM OR HER. IF A CHILD IS THE COVERED PERSON, THE RIGHT ESTABLISHED BY THIS SUBSECTION MAY BE ASSERTED BY, AND SHALL EXTEND TO, THE PARENT OR GUARDIAN OF THE CHILD. THE SUPERINTENDENT MAY PROMULGATE RULES TO GUIDE AND ENABLE SUCH INSURERS, CORPORATIONS, ORGAN- IZATIONS AND PROVIDERS TO GUARD AGAINST THE DISCLOSURE OF THE ADDRESS AND LOCATION OF AN INSURED, SUBSCRIBER OR COVERED PERSON WHO IS THE VICTIM OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. S 2. This act shall take effect on the first of January next succeed- ing the date on which it shall have become a law.