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By law, Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield and its affiliated companies, HMO Partners, Inc., d/b/a Health Advantage, USAble HMO Inc., d/b/a Arkansas Blue Medicare and d/b/a Octave, and USAble PPO Insurance Company, d/b/a (Arkansas Blue Medicare and Arkansas Blue Medicare Plus sometimes referred to herein collectively as “Arkansas Blue Medicare”), are required to protect the privacy of your protected health information. We also must give you this notice to tell you how we may use and release (“disclose”) your protected health information held by us. Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield is a business name of USAble Mutual Insurance Company, which also does business as BlueAdvantage Administrators of Arkansas, a third-party administrative services division of the company.
Throughout this notice, we will use the name "Arkansas Blue Cross" as a shorthand reference, not only for Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, but also for our BlueAdvantage division and our affiliated companies, Health Advantage, Octave, and Arkansas Blue Medicare. Please note that although we are combining this privacy notice for convenient, shorthand reference, and to make it more efficient to inform you about your privacy rights, Arkansas Blue Cross/BlueAdvantage is a separate company from Health Advantage, Octave, and Arkansas Blue Medicare and each such company has their own operations, management and compliance responsibilities.
Arkansas Blue Cross must use and release your protected health information to provide information:
Arkansas Blue Cross has the right to use and release your protected health information to evaluate and process your health plan or health insurance claims, enroll and disenroll you and your dependents, and perform related business operations.
Arkansas Blue Cross may use or give out your protected health information for the following purposes, under limited circumstances:
By law, Arkansas Blue Cross must have your written permission (an "authorization") to use or release your protected health information for any purpose other than treatment, payment or healthcare operations or other limited exceptions outlined here or in the Privacy regulation or other applicable law. Once you have given your permission for us to release your protected health information you may take it back ("revoke") at any time by giving written notice to us, except if we have already acted based on your original permission. To the extent (if any) that we maintain or receive psychotherapy notes about you, most disclosures of these notes require your authorization. Also, to the extent (if any) that we use or disclose your information for our fundraising practices, we will provide you with the ability to opt out of future fundraising communications. In addition, most (but not all) uses and disclosures of medical information for marketing purposes, and disclosures that constitute a sale of protected health information, require your authorization.
If you have a health benefit plan issued by Arkansas Blue Cross, Health Advantage, Octave, or Arkansas Blue Medicare on or after October 1, 2007, you have a Personal Health Record (PHR). Your PHR contains a summary of claims submitted for services you received while you are or were covered by your health benefit plan, as well as non-claims data you choose to enter yourself. Your PHR will continue to exist, even if you discontinue coverage under your health benefit plan. You have access to your PHR through the Arkansas Blue Cross, Health Advantage, Octave, or Arkansas Blue Medicare websites. In addition, unless you limit access, your physician and other healthcare providers who provide you treatment have access to your PHR. Certain information that may exist in the claims records will not be made available to your physician and other healthcare providers automatically.
To protect your privacy, information about treatment for certain sensitive medical conditions, such as HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases, mental health, drug or alcohol abuse or family planning, will be viewable by you alone unless you choose to make this information available to the medical personnel who treat you. Similarly, non-claims data, such as your medical, family and social history, will only appear in your PHR if you choose to enter it yourself. It is important to note that you have the option to prohibit access to your PHR completely, either by electronically selecting to prohibit access or by sending a written request to prohibit access to the Privacy Office at the address below.
We are prohibited by law from collecting or using genetic information for purposes of underwriting, setting premium, determining eligibility for benefits or applying any pre-existing condition exclusion under an insurance policy or health plan. Genetic information means not only genetic tests that you have received, but also any genetic tests of your family members, or any manifestations of a disease or disorder among your family members. Except for pre-existing condition exclusions, we may obtain and use genetic information in making a payment or denial decision, or otherwise processing a claim for benefits under your health plan or insurance policy, to the extent that genetic information is relevant to the payment or denial decision or proper processing of your claim.
You have the right to:
In the event of a breach of your health information, we will provide you notification of such a breach as required by law or where we otherwise deem such notification appropriate.
If you would like to contact Arkansas Blue Cross, its BlueAdvantage division, Health Advantage, Octave, or Arkansas Blue Medicare for further information regarding this notice, or exercise any of the rights described in this notice, you may do so by contacting Customer Service at the following toll-free telephone numbers:
You also may access complete instructions and request forms from our companies' websites:
We are required by law to abide by the terms of this notice. We reserve the right to change this notice and make the revised or changed notice effective for claims or medical information we already have about you as well as any future information we receive. When we make changes, we will notify you by sending a revised notice to the last known address we have for you or by alternative means allowed by law or regulation. We also will post a copy of the current notice on Arkansas Blue Cross, Health Advantage, Arkansas Blue Medicare and Octave websites.
If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with Arkansas Blue Cross, Health Advantage, Octave, or Arkansas Blue Medicare by writing to the following address:
You also may file a complaint with the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Complaints filed directly with the Secretary must:
We will not penalize or in any other way retaliate against you for filing a complaint with the Secretary or with us.
Last material revision 05/2013
Last general revision 09/2023
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