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Lack of confidentiality in healthcare especially affects:

  • Young women
  • Members of the LGBTQ community
  • People living with HIV/AIDS
  • Domestic violence survivors
  • People with substance abuse or mental health issues
  • Individuals whose partners/families oppose or would limit access to their health care services

A Massachusetts resident receiving health insurance as a dependent on the health plan of a parent, spouse, or other family member, may not receive fully confidential healthcare. When an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) is sent to the primary subscriber outlining recent health care procedures, including reproductive healthcare and other sensitive healthcare information, the patient’s confidentiality is compromised.

NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts supported An Act to Protect Access to Confidential Healthcare (the PATCH Act) (H.2960, S.2296), working in coalition with the Health Care For All-led PATCH Alliance. Signed into law by Governor Baker on March 30, 2018, this piece of legislation will:

  • Ensure EOBs are sent directly to each patient and that each patient can choose to receive her/his EOB at an alternate address or electronically;
  • Guarantee EOBs are not sent for preventive health services with no cost sharing (e.g., an STI test or a domestic violence counseling session); and
  • Require EOBs to list only generic information when sensitive care is received, such as “office visit” or “medical service.”

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We fight for a future that includes access to all reproductive health care no matter your zip code or employer. Massachusetts must lead the charge. Are you with us?