This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Family Secrets: Adult Children's Health Insurance Claims Can Be Private

"While mom and dad may be footing the bill, they do not have the right to an explanation about the bill they are paying," says Katherine Woodfield, a health insurance broker in Gladstone, N.J., and author of "Don't Buy That Health Insurance: Become an Educated Health Care Consumer."

Health care providers can only release information they feel is medically relevant and to which the patient would not reasonably object. However, if the adult child does not want any information shared, the provider must honor that request.

Yet the issues aren't always black and white when it comes to health insurance claims for adults who remain on a parent's plan and are worried about privacy. HIPAA's purpose is to ensure the confidentiality of the insured. It is meant to keep information private from associates and third parties that don't need to know -- not necessarily from people within the same policy.

Health insurance companies, while not expressly mentioned in that law, likewise should not disclose any information about the bills they are asking the parents to pay. The insurance company must follow the intent of the law -- which is why an EOB is coded in a way that doesn't explain what the charges are for.

Here's more about health information privacy from the Department of Health and Human Services.

That said, adults who are on a parent's health policy and are concerned about privacy should go the extra mile. When seeing a provider:

  • Make your privacy request to the doctor so it's in your chart.
  • Talk to the front desk and request to have the EOB sent directly to you, not the policyholder.
  • Call the customer service 800 number of your health plan before you visit the doctor and have them note that EOBs, balance bills or co-pay statements should not go to the policyholder but be sent directly to you. receives compensation from carriers when readers choose to request insurance quotes. This article is provided by an external partner that is solely responsible for the content.
2 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,237.32 +168.45 0.99%
S&P 500 1,997.06 +24.32 1.23%
NASDAQ 4,609.1760 +61.3420 1.35%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs