Health Services Between You and Your Provider
As much as Beforeplay.org wants you to just talk about your sexual health – we want to make sure you know some things are confidential – no question. Specifics about health care services you receive or health conditions you may have are between you and your health care provider. Some people may hesitate about going to see a doctor to receive sexual health care thinking that other family members would be notified about it. We want you to know that Colorado health professionals cannot share your health information with anyone. In fact, it’s against Colorado state law for medical professionals to discuss your situation or care you received with any other individual outside the medical field. Situations where that is different is when someone has gone to a doctor because of abuse – sexual or physical – and that crime against her may legally need to be reported to law enforcement. No matter your age, no one but you will be told about health care you’re receiving: contraception; pre-natal, delivery or post-natal care; diagnosis or treatment of STIs, including HIV, treatment after a sexual assault; treatment for substance or alcohol abuse treatment or for mental health care. This is one of many reasons Beforeplay.org thinks it is a great idea for you to make an appointment with your health care provider and get that sexual health checkup and any services you need. Don’t have one? Find a high quality provider here – and remember that if you have a new health insurance plan, these services are provided at no extra cost, so there is no reason to wait to check in on any of your sexual health needs.
Now – the one other thing that you might want to know about patient confidentiality. It’s true that health care providers can’t and won’t talk to anyone else about your health care, one other issue deserves some thought. Insurance providers. Typically after a person receives health services covered by a health insurance plan, the insurance company sends what is called an “explanation of benefits” or EOB describing the services that were provided. Now, if you’re older than 18, that EOB gets sent to the individual who got the care, no matter what. But if you’re less than 18 and on an insurance plan paid for by someone else, that EOB will be sent to the person who’s the primary contact for the insurance plan, not you. We just wanted to make sure you knew about that possibility. It’s best for you to talk to your insurance plan to find out their plans for EOBs if you have any questions. This all is getting in the weeds a little bit, but at Beforeplay.org we want to share info that’s helpful to you – and hope this is.
May 6, 2014