These days, more young adults are staying on their parents’ insurance until age 26, thanks to changes made by the Affordable Care Act. While that’s a huge relief when you’re juggling college, internships, and first jobs, you might be worried about the privacy of your health care information. Learn how you can get birth control on your parents’ insurance without having to share that info with mom or dad by using a confidential service such as Nurx™.
What Stays Private?
Some people don’t want their parents to know when they go on birth control or what type of sexual health services, such as sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing, they’re receiving. Despite being good for your health, these types of things can be difficult to discuss with your parents. But if you’re on their insurance, you’ll probably want to take advantage of it to keep your costs down.
The question here is how any covered services you receive show up on your parent’s insurance documentation. The answer depends on many factors, including your health insurance, your medical provider, and state laws.
What Details Appear on Your Insurance Claim?
When you visit a health care provider, your insurer will send an explanation of benefits (EOB) by mail or email. The EOB includes details about your health insurance claim, including how much you’re responsible for paying. Depending on which insurance plan you have, however, it could also include an itemized list of the services you received.
There are two options for figuring out whether individual services will appear on the EOB and what details will be provided:
- Go to your online patient portal: If your insurer offers an online account, log in and see if you can view a sample EOB. Look for the types of details included on the EOB to figure out how your services will show up.
- Call your insurer: Ask if EOBs are itemized and what types of information they include. Some keep this information private once you’re over 18. You can also specifically request confidentiality for your medical services, which some insurers will grant.
How Do State Laws Affect Health Insurance Confidentiality?
Where you live can affect how you’re covered. Some states have passed laws that protect patient confidentiality for “sensitive” medical services such as mental health treatment, substance abuse treatment, pregnancy prevention, and treatment for sexually transmitted infections.
California has the most extensive law of this kind with the Confidentiality of Medical Information Act, which passed in 2013. However, Colorado, Maryland, New York, Oregon, Texas, and Washington have passed similar laws. Some states, including Illinois, have these types of protections in place specifically for people on Medicaid.
What Can You Do if Your Information Isn’t Private?
You might find out that any medical services you receive will show up on your parents’ insurance documentation, including birth control prescriptions and STI treatments. If you prefer to keep this information private, you have three options:
- Pay out of pocket: This will guarantee your confidentiality, but it means your health care costs will be much higher. However, there are affordable options available, including Nurx™, which can help you get a prescription for birth control without insurance.
- Get insurance through your job: Your parents’ insurance might be better and cheaper than the options available through your job, but getting your own insurance does ensure that your health care services will be confidential.
- Provide alternate explanations: If you feel you must provide another explanation to your parents for your emotional or physical safety, there might be a way to do so. For example, birth control pills can be prescribed to help manage painful periods, and some STI antibiotics are also used to treat ear infections.
It might take time to figure out how you’ll receive certain services without your parents knowing, but there are ways if you absolutely can’t share this type of information with them. Make your health a priority by using these tips to get birth control and other important services.
This blog provides information about telemedicine, health and related subjects. The blog content and any linked materials herein are not intended to be, and should not be construed as a substitute for, medical or healthcare advice, diagnosis or treatment. Any reader or person with a medical concern should consult with an appropriately-licensed physician or other healthcare provider. This blog is provided purely for informational purposes. The views expressed herein are not sponsored by and do not represent the opinions of Nurx™.