Visitor Question

Do I have to let the insurance company access my medical history?

Submitted By: Anonymous (USA)

I fell in major chain retail store in July 2011, I filled out a claim form the day of the accident. Approximately 30 days later an insurance representative called and stated that the store wasn’t going to deny my claim.

I said I’d been seen by a physical therapist and used my own insurance, but unfortunately I used all the visits my insurance allowed and if I wanted to continue to be seen I would have to pay $80 a visit.

A store representative continues to call me and has asked that I give them the authority to check my medical history for the last 5 years. My question to you is: Do I have to give them this information? I really don’t want anyone to have my medical information. Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Anonymous,

You do not have to authorize the release of your medical history. But in turn, the insurance company doesn’t have to offer you much, if anything at all in the form of a settlement.

If you are seriously concerned about the release of your medical documents you will need to weigh and balance the cost of your medical or therapy bills against your medical records becoming public.

Although the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) laws greatly restrict medical providers from releasing any patient’s information without the patient’s express medical consent, once you sign the release form your medical history is “out there” for just about anyone to see.

It’s really up to you.

The facts you present don’t indicate the type and severity of your injuries.

If the only bills you have incurred so far are for therapy, and you are close enough to being back to normal, you might want to decide to withhold your express consent for the release of your medical information. In the long run it just may not be worth it.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: November 17, 2011

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