Notice of Privacy Practices for American Enterprise Group Affiliated Covered Entity
THIS NOTICE DESCRIBES HOW MEDICAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOU MAY BE USED AND DISCLOSED AND HOW YOU CAN GET ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION. PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY.
This Notice of Privacy Practices covers an affiliated covered entity. When the notice refers to “we,” “our,” or “us,” it is referring to the following affiliated entities: American Republic Insurance Company, Medico Insurance Company, Medico Life and Health Insurance Company, American Republic Corp Insurance Company, and Medico Corp Life Insurance Company. For purposes of complying with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) as amended by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH), the combined companies listed are designated as a single covered entity. The single covered entity shall be known as the “American Enterprise Group ACE.” This designation may be amended from time to time to add new covered entities that are under common control and ownership with the American Enterprise Group ACE.
We respect the confidentiality of your health information and will protect your information in a responsible and professional manner. We are required by law to maintain the privacy of your health information and to send you this notice. This notice explains how we use information about you and when we can share that information with others. It also informs you of your rights with respect to your health information and how you can exercise those rights.
When we talk about “information” or “health information” in this notice we mean individually identifiable health information, as defined by HIPAA. Individually identifiable health information is health information that:
- Is created or received by the American Enterprise Group ACE’s designated healthcare components;
- Relates to the past, present, or future physical or mental health condition of an individual, the provision of healthcare to an individual, or the past, present, or future payment for the provision of healthcare to an individual; and
- Identifies the individual, or with respect to which there is a reasonable basis to believe the information can be used to identify the individual.
How we use or share information
Subject to state and federal laws, we are permitted to use and/or share your information without your authorization in certain circumstances, such as:
- To use or disclose the information for payment purposes. For example, we may use the information to help pay medical bills that have been submitted to us by doctors and hospitals for payment or to contact your doctor to obtain medical records in order to make claim payment decisions.
- To use or disclose the information to perform healthcare operations. For example, we may use the information for activities relating to underwriting; customer service; legal services; and auditing functions, including fraud and abuse detection and compliance programs. We will not use or disclose genetic information, including family history, for underwriting purposes.
- To use or disclose your information to provide you with information about health related benefits and services that you may be interested in. We will not share your information with or sell it to telemarketing agencies or other agencies that market products other than those products provided or administered by the American Enterprise Group ACE or its business associates without your authorization.
- If you are available and do not object, we may disclose information to a member of your family, a friend, or other person you identify who is involved in your healthcare or the payment of a claim. If you are unavailable, incapacitated, or facing an emergency medical situation, and we determine that a limited disclosure is in your best interest, we may share limited information with such persons.
- To disclose information to a disaster relief organization in order for the organization to communicate with a family member or other person involved in your care.
State and federal laws may require or permit us to release your information to others without your authorization, such as:
- To use and disclose information to the extent required to comply with the law.
- To report information to state and federal agencies that regulate us, such as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Iowa Insurance Division.
- To share information for public health activities.
- To use or disclose information to avert a serious health or safety threat.
- To share information with a health oversight agency for certain oversight activities authorized by law such as audits, inspections, licensure, and disciplinary actions.
- To disclose information in the course of a judicial or administrative proceeding, such as pursuant to a subpoena.
- To report information for law enforcement purposes.
- To report information to a government authority regarding child abuse, neglect, or domestic violence.
- To share information with a coroner or medical examiner to identify a deceased person, determine a cause of death, or as authorized by law. We may also share information to a funeral director as necessary to carry out their duties.
- To use or share information for procurement, banking, or transplantation of organs, eyes, or tissue.
- To use or disclose information for research purposes, but only as permitted by law.
- To share information for specialized government functions, such as military and veteran activities, national security and intelligence activities, and the protective services for the President and others.
- To report information on job-related injuries because of requirements of your state workers’ compensation laws.
In the event that an applicable law prohibits or materially limits one of the uses or disclosures of information described above, we will restrict the use or disclosure in accordance with the more stringent law. If one of the above reasons for a use or disclosure does not apply, we must get your written permission, in the form of an authorization, to use or disclose your information. In any case, we must obtain authorization for the use and disclosure of psychotherapy notes. If you give us written permission and change your mind you may revoke your authorization at any time except to the extent that we have taken action in reliance on the authorization or, if the authorization was obtained as a condition of obtaining insurance coverage, other law provides us with the right to contest a claim under the policy or the policy itself.
What are your rights?
The following are your rights with respect to your information. If you would like to exercise the following rights, please contact our Customer Care Center. Contact information for our Customer Care Center is located at the end of this Notice.
- You have the right to be notified in the event there is a breach of your health information.
- You have the right to ask us to restrict: (a) how we use or disclose your information for payment or healthcare operations; (b) information that we have been asked to give to family members or to others who are involved in your healthcare or payment for your healthcare; and (c) uses and disclosures for disaster relief purposes. Please note that while we will try to accommodate reasonable requests, we are not required to agree to these restrictions.
- You have the right to request confidential communications of information. For example, if you believe that you would be harmed if we send your information to your current mailing address (for example, in situations involving domestic disputes or violence), you can ask us to send the information by alternative means (for example, by fax) or to an alternative address. We will accommodate your reasonable requests as explained above.
- You have the right to copy and inspect certain components of your information that we maintain. All requests for access must be made in writing and signed by you or your representative. Access request forms are available from our Customer Care Center at the address below. We may charge you a fee for copying and postage.
- You have the right to request that certain components of your information be amended to correct an error or omission. We are not obligated to make all requested amendments but will give each request careful consideration. All amendment requests must be in writing, signed by you or your representative, and must state the reasons for the requested amendment. Amendment request forms are available from our Customer Care Center.
- You have the right to receive an accounting of certain disclosures of your information. Accounting request forms are available from our Customer Care Center at the address below. The first accounting in any 12-month period is free; however, we may charge you a fee for each subsequent accounting you request in the same 12-month period. Please note that we are not required to release:
- Any information collected prior to April 14, 2003.
- Information disclosed or used for treatment, payment, and/or healthcare operations purposes.
- Information disclosed to you or pursuant to your authorization.
- Information that is incidental to a use or disclosure otherwise permitted.
- Information disclosed for a facility’s directory or to person involved in your care or other notification purposes.
- Information disclosed for national security or intelligence purposes.
- Information disclosed to correctional institutions, law enforcement officials, or health oversight agencies.
- Information that was disclosed or used as part of a limited data set for research, public health, or healthcare operations purposes.
Exercising your rights
You have a right to receive a copy of this notice upon request at any time. We are required to abide by the terms of this notice. Should any of our privacy practices change, we reserve the right to change the terms of this notice and to make the new notice effective for all protected health information we maintain. Once revised, we will provide the new notice to you by mail. If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with us by contacting our Customer Care Center. You may also send a written complaint to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. We will not take any action against you for filing a complaint.
If you have any questions or complaints, please contact us at:
Notice of Privacy Practices
American Enterprise Group
P.O. Box 9371
Des Moines, IA 50306-9371