BRIGHTHOUSE FINANCIAL PRIVACY NOTICE FOR PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION
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.
In this notice, we may refer to Brighthouse Financial, Inc. by using the terms “us,” “we,” or “our.” Brighthouse Financial, Inc. includes Brighthouse Life Insurance Company, Brighthouse Life Insurance Company of NY, and New England Life Insurance Company (collectively, “Brighthouse Financial”). We may refer to an individual covered by a Long-Term Care policy or rider or other health coverage with Brighthouse Financial by using the terms “you” or “your.”
Brighthouse Financial is providing this notice to you, as required by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”). This notice applies to you if you are currently covered under a Long-Term Care policy or rider or other health coverage (your “Coverage”) with us. This notice describes how we use, disclose, and protect the personal health information (“Protected Health Information”) we maintain about you in order to provide your Coverage. Protected Health Information includes individually identifiable information which relates to your past, present or future health, treatment, or payment for health care services. This notice also describes your rights with respect to Protected Health Information and how you can exercise your rights. Please read this notice carefully.
HOW DOES BRIGHTHOUSE FINANCIAL USE AND DISCLOSE YOUR PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION?
Brighthouse Financial protects your Protected Health Information from inappropriate use or disclosure. We may use and disclose your Protected Health Information to pay benefits under your Coverage, administer claims and other transactions requested by you, and as otherwise allowed or required by law. Brighthouse Financial employees and employees of companies that help us administer your Coverage must comply with our requirements to protect the security and confidentiality of your Protected Health Information.
We will not sell or disclose your Protected Health Information to any company for their use in marketing their products to you. However, as described below, we may use and disclose Protected Health Information about you to Affiliates and Business Associates for business purposes relating to your Coverage.
The following describes the ways Brighthouse Financial may use and disclose your Protected Health Information.
How Does Brighthouse Financial Use and Disclose Your PHI?
We may use and disclose Protected Health Information to pay benefits under your Coverage. For example, we may use Protected Health Information contained in a claim to reimburse providers for services rendered to you. We may also disclose Protected Health Information to other insurance carriers to coordinate benefits with respect to a particular claim or to issue you new Coverage. Additionally, we may disclose Protected Health Information to a health plan or an administrator of an employee welfare benefit plan for payment-related functions, such as eligibility determination, audit and review, or to assist you with your inquiries or disputes.
For Health Care Operations
We may use and disclose Protected Health Information to help us run our business. These purposes include evaluating a request for our products or services, administering those products or services, processing claims and other transactions requested by you, and comply with applicable laws.
To Inform You About Your Coverage
We may use your Protected Health Information to provide you with information about benefits available to you under your current Coverage and, in limited situations, about health-related Coverage that may be of interest to you. However, we will not send marketing communications to you in exchange for financial remuneration from a third party without your authorization.
To Affiliates and Business Associates
Affiliates are companies related to Brighthouse Financial by common ownership or control. Our Affiliates include life insurers and a broker-dealer. In the future, we may have affiliates in other businesses. Business Associates are individuals or companies that perform certain functions or activities on behalf of Brighthouse Financial that involve the use or disclosure of Protected Health Information. Examples of Business Associates include insurance companies, billing companies, data processing companies, general administrative services companies, health information organizations, e-prescribing gateways, and personal health record vendors.
We may disclose your Protected Health Information to Affiliates and Business Associates when there is a business need to do so, such as to administer your Coverage. Affiliates and Business Associates must agree to protect your Protected Health Information in accordance with HIPAA. We may disclose your Protected Health Information to reinsurers for underwriting, audit or claim review reasons. We may also disclose your Protected Health Information as part of a potential merger or acquisition involving our business so that parties to the transaction may make an informed business decision.
To Plan Sponsors
We may disclose summary health information, such as claims history or claims expenses, to a plan sponsor to enable it to obtain premium bids from health plans, or to modify, amend, or terminate a group health plan. We may also disclose Protected Health Information to a plan sponsor to help administer its plan if the plan sponsor agrees to restrict its use and disclosure of Protected Health Information in accordance with federal law.
To Individuals Involved in Your Care
We may, with your consent, disclose your Protected Health Information to a family member or other individual who is involved in your health care or payment of your health care. For example, we may disclose Protected Health Information to a family member whom you have authorized to contact us regarding payment of a claim.
About Deceased Individuals
We may release Protected Health Information to a coroner or medical examiner to assist in identifying a deceased individual or to determine the cause of death. In addition, we may disclose a deceased’s person’s Protected Health Information to a family member or individual involved in the care or payment for care of the deceased person unless doing so is inconsistent with any prior expressed preference of the deceased person which is known to us.
When Requested or Required by Law or for Public Health Activities
We disclose Protected Health Information when required by federal, state, or local law. Examples of such mandatory disclosures include notifying health authorities regarding particular communicable diseases, or providing Protected Health Information to the a governmental agency with health care oversight responsibilities, such as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
We may disclose Protected Health Information in response to a court or administrative order. We may also disclose Protected Health Information about you in response to a subpoena, warrant, summons, or similar process, but only if efforts have been made to tell you about the request or to obtain an order protecting the Protected Health Information requested. We may disclose Protected Health Information about you to federal officials for intelligence, counterintelligence, and other national security activities authorized by law. We may disclose Protected Health Information to any governmental agency with whom you have filed a complaint or as part of a governmental agency examination.
To Avert a Serious Threat to Health or Safety
We may disclose Protected Health Information to avert a serious threat to someone’s health or safety. We may also disclose Protected Health Information to federal, state or local agencies engaged in disaster relief, as well as to private disaster relief or disaster assistance agencies to allow such entities to carry out their responsibilities in specific disaster situations.
Other Uses of Protected Health Information
Other uses and disclosures of Protected Health Information not covered by this notice and permitted by the laws that apply to us will be made only with your written authorization or that of your legal representative. If we are authorized to use or disclose Protected Health Information about you, you or your legally authorized representative may revoke that authorization in writing at any time, except to the extent that we have taken action relying on the authorization or if the authorization was obtained as a condition of obtaining your Coverage. You should understand that we will not be able to take back any disclosures we have already made with authorization.
WHAT ARE YOUR RIGHTS REGARDING PROTECTED HEALTH INFORMATION THAT BRIGHTHOUSE FINANCIAL MAINTAINS ABOUT YOU?
The following are your various rights as a consumer under HIPAA concerning your Protected Health Information. Should you have questions about or wish to exercise a specific right, please contact us in writing at the applicable Contact Address listed on the last page.
Your Rights Regarding Protected Health Information That We Maintain About You
Your Right To Inspect and Copy Your Protected Health Information
In most cases, you have the right to inspect and obtain a copy of the Protected Health Information that we maintain about you. If we maintain the requested Protected Health Information electronically, you may ask us to provide you with the Protected Health Information in electronic format, if readily producible; or, if not, in a readable electronic form and format agreed to by you and us. To receive a copy of your Protected Health Information, you may be charged a fee for the costs of copying, mailing, electronic media, or other supplies associated with your request.
You may also direct us to send the Protected Health Information you have requested to another person designated by you, so long as your request is in writing and clearly identifies the designated individual. However, certain types of Protected Health Information will not be made available for inspection and copying. This includes psychotherapy notes or Protected Health Information collected by us in connection with, or in reasonable anticipation of, any claim or legal proceeding. In very limited circumstances, we may deny your request to inspect and obtain a copy of your Protected Health Information. If we do, you may request that the denial be reviewed. The review will be conducted by an individual chosen by us who was not involved in the original decision to deny your request. We will comply with the outcome of that review.
Your Right To Amend Your Protected Health Information
If you believe that your Protected Health Information is incorrect or that an important part of it is missing, you have the right to ask us to amend your Protected Health Information while it is kept by or for us. You must specify the reason for your request. We may deny your request if it is not in writing or does not include a reason that supports the request. In addition, we may deny your request if you ask us to amend Protected Health Information that:
-is accurate and complete;
-was not created by us, unless the person or entity that created the Protected Health Information is no longer available to make the amendment;
-is not part of the Protected Health Information kept by or for us; or
-is not part of the Protected Health Information which you would be permitted to inspect and copy.
Your Right To Request A List Of Disclosures of Your Protected Health Information
You have the right to request a list of the disclosures we have made of your Protected Health Information. This list will not include disclosures made for treatment, payment, health care operations, purposes of national security, to law enforcement, to corrections personnel, pursuant to your authorization, or directly to you. To request this list, you must submit your request in writing. Your request must state the time period for which you want to receive a list of disclosures. You may only request an accounting of disclosures for a period of time less than six years prior to the date of your request. Your request should indicate in what form you want the list (for example, paper or electronic). The first list you request within a 12-month period will be free. We may charge you for responding to any additional requests. We will notify you of the cost involved, and you may choose to withdraw or modify your request at that time before you incur any cost.
Your Right To Request Restrictions on Your Protected Health Information
You have the right to request a restriction or limitation on Protected Health Information we use or disclose about you for treatment, payment, or health care operations, or that we disclose to someone who may be involved in your care or payment for your care, like a family member or friend. While we will consider your request, we are not required to agree to it. If we do agree to it, we will comply with your request. To request a restriction, you must make your request in writing. In your request, you must tell us (1) what information you want to limit; (2) whether you want to limit our use, disclosure or both; and (3) to whom you want the limits to apply (for example, disclosures to your spouse or parent). We will not agree to restrictions on Protected Health Information uses or disclosures that are legally required, or which are necessary to administer our business.
Your Right To Request Confidential Communications
You have the right to request that we communicate with you about Protected Health Information in a certain way or at a certain location if you tell us that communication in another manner may endanger you. For example, you can ask that we only contact you at work or by mail. To request confidential communications, you must make your request in writing and specify how or where you wish to be contacted. We will accommodate all reasonable requests.
Your Right To File A Complaint
If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with us and with the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”).
To file a complaint with us, please contact:
Brighthouse Financial, Inc.
Attn: Customer Relations
11225 North Community House Road
Charlotte, NC 28277
All complaints must be submitted in writing. You will not be penalized for filing a complaint.
You can find more information about how to file a complaint with HHS, including the addresses of the regional offices of the HHS Office of Civil Rights on the HHS website.
HOW CAN YOU EXERCISE YOUR INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS?
If you want to exercise one of your individual rights described above, please submit your request in writing to the relevant address below.
For SmartCare Coverage:
Brighthouse Financial Privacy
P.O. Box 305073
Nashville, TN 37230-5073
For all other Coverage:
Brighthouse Financial Privacy
P.O. Box 49781
Charlotte, NC 28277
HOW WILL YOU KNOW IF THIS NOTICE CHANGES?
We reserve the right to change the terms of this notice at any time. We reserve the right to make the revised or changed notice effective for Protected Health Information we already have about you, as well as any Protected Health Information we receive in the future. The effective date of this notice and any revised or changed notice may be found on the last page, on the bottom right-hand corner of the notice. Any required revised notice from Brighthouse Financial may be delivered by mail, or by e-mail, if e-mail delivery is offered by Brighthouse Financial and you agree to such delivery.
WHO DO YOU CONTACT WITH QUESTIONS?
For questions about your Coverage or your rights under HIPAA, please call us at (800) 882-1292, visit brighthousefinancial.com, or write to us at the address above which applies to your Coverage.
For questions about our HIPAA privacy practices, please visit brighthousefinancial.com, or write to us at:
Brighthouse Financial Privacy
P.O. Box 49781
Charlotte, NC 28277