Confidentiality When 18 and Using Parent's Insurance

Published: January 09, 2014
Dear TeenHealthFX,

I am now 18 and I have a few questions regarding privacy. I know that legally I am an adult, however I am still on my parent's insurance. We are not extremely close and I like to keep things private. I want to switch doctors, will they know if I make this choice? I have had an eating disorder, anxiety, and depression which I have received counseling for in the past. At the time of treatment it was suggested that I have a physical and have lab work done to make sure I do not have a chemical imbalance in my brain. I think a physical would be good for me in general, just to make sure everything is in check. If I go to a physical and/or have lab work done and use my parent's insurance, will they know?? They whole thing kind of confuses me.

Dear Confidentiality When 18 and Using Parent's Insurance,

There is a strong possibility that your parent’s would receive certain information about your visit through what is called an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) form. This form is usually sent to the insurance policy holder and will contain the following information.

  • Patient: The name of the person who received the service.
  • Insured ID Number: The identification number assigned to you by your insurance company. This should match the number on your insurance card.
  • Claim Number: The number that identifies, or refers to the claim that either you or your health provider submitted to the insurance company. Along with your insurance ID number, you will need this claim number if you have any questions for your health plan.
  • Provider: The name of the provider who performed the services for you or your dependent. This may be the name of a doctor, a laboratory, a hospital, or other healthcare provider.
  • Type of Service: A code and brief description of the health-related service you received from the provider.
  • Date of Service: The beginning and end dates of the health-related service you received from the provider. If the claim is for a doctor visit, the beginning and end dates will be the same.
  • Charge: The amount your provider billed your insurance company for the service.

Different states and different insurance companies have different policies on send EOB’s on adult dependent children. You could find out your insurance company’s policy by calling the customer services number on the back of your insurance card and ask. If your insurance company does send out an EOB, and confidentiality is an issue, There are clinics in hospital and the community that can help  you sign up for free, confidential  health coverage.

Since you are 18, the information you shared with the doctor would be privileged and your doctor could not disclose that information to your parents.

If you would like a all-inclusive understanding of this topic, check out the Guttmacher Institute’s report: Confidentiality for Individuals Insured as Dependents: A Review of State Laws and Policies




Signed: TeenHealthFX