This article is intended for HMO members enrolled in an employer health insurance plan.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois’ (BCBSIL) policies require us to help ensure the confidentiality of your medical records and other personal health information (PHI). But even more importantly, the law requires it.

In fact, there are a number of strict laws that protect the privacy of your medical records and other PHI.

Here are just a few highlights of these privacy laws:

  • With few exceptions, nobody can give your PHI to others without written permission. You can give this permission, or someone else can on your behalf. You or your representative may need to provide your PHI for various reasons. You may need to release it to receive care or settle disputes about benefit coverage, payment or complaints.
  • Nobody can give your PHI to your spouse or other family members without written permission from you or your representative. However, a parent or legal guardian can get PHI about children younger than age 18.
  • Doctors and other health care providers must follow privacy laws, professional standards and policies. This includes controlling access to PHI in computer systems.

Only Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois employees with a business-related need to know can access PHI. We keep oral, written and electronic PHI confidential as required by privacy laws and company policies.