Delaware Vote Tracker

HB 400 – Delaware Patient Privacy Act

House Bill 400, sponsored by Rep. Krista Griffith, would allow dependents on insurance policies – adults and children – to receive “confidential sensitive health care services” without notifying the policyholder. The point is to prevent the policy holder to have direct access to the private medical records of another person, no matter if that person is his or her dependent on their insurance policy.

You can guess that Republicans are furious about this, because they feel that the policy holder, who they assume of course will be a man, should have absolute control of his dependents, which they assume are his wife and children.

The most frequent form used is an explanation of benefit (EOB) sent to the policyholder after anyone covered under the policy receives care. The lack of confidentiality for sensitive health care services can often result in insured members simply avoiding necessary health care.

So if a wife or daughter wants to get some reproductive healthcare, whether it is birth control, prenatal care or an abortion, her father would know about it. Republicans want it to stay that way and screw the daughter or wife’s privacy. Democrats want to protect the patient’s privacy in line with Federal HIPAA law.

Reproductive services, contraceptive care, pregnancy testing and counseling, abortion services and gender transition services are all listed as “sensitive health care services” in the bill. 

Other sensitive health care services listed in the bill are as follows:

● Pregnancy testing and counseling.
● Diagnosis and treatment of vaginal infections.
● Management of abnormal Pap smears.
● Testing, treatment, and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases.
● Fertility services.
● Gender transition- related services.
● Testing, treatment, and prevention of HIV, AIDS and PREP services.
● Hepatitis B and C testing, treatment, and medications.
● Substance use disorder services, including medication and treatment.
● Mental health services.
● Office visits for assessment of risk of sexual or pregnancy coercion.
● Sexual violence services.

HB 400 fixes a loophole that we currently have in health care privacy law in which insurance companies can send materials to primary policyholders that disclose information about care that others are receiving, even if that care is supposed to be confidential,” Rep. Krista Griffith said during a House committee hearing on the bill.

House Bill 400 SponsorsYes VotesNo Votes
Griffith, Longhurst, Dorsey Walker, Heffernan, K.Johnson, Lambert, Minor-Brown, Wilson-Anton, Baumbach, Morrison
Pinkney, S.McBride, Gay, Hansen, Poore, Sturgeon, Sokola
Current Status: Out of Committee 5/3/22

This bill would require both individual and group health carriers, including those providing coverage under the State health insurance plans, to use a common summary of payment form, developed by the Department of Insurance, for defined sensitive health care services.

The Act prohibits the health carriers from specifying any defined sensitive health care services in the form, allows health carriers to address the form to the insured member, allows insured members to choose their preferred method of receiving said form, and precludes health carriers from sending the form when there is no payment liability for the visit or service provided.

The bill provides that any carrier providing health insurance to Medicaid recipients may not divulge defined sensitive health care services without the recipient’s express written or telephone recorded consent.

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

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