Health Alliance Plan

Privacy Statements

Notice of Privacy Practices

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.

Health Alliance Plan

Alliance Health and Life Insurance Company

Last Review: September 2014

Your Protected Health Information (PHI)

PHI stands for the words Protected Health Information. PHI is health information that includes your name, member ID number or other items that can be used to identify you.

Important Information About Privacy...

Protecting the privacy of your personal and health information is important to HAP. We are required by law to maintain the privacy of your information and to provide you with notice of our legal duties and privacy practices. That is what this notice is for. It explains how we use information about you and when we can share that information with others. It also tells you about your rights with respect to your personal and health information and how you can use your rights. We are required to stand by the terms of this notice. If your information is subject to a breach (if it is used by or shared with someone who is not authorized to use or have your information), we are required to notify you in writing.

When we use the term "member information" or "information" in this notice, we are referring to the personal and health information about you that we collect when you fill out enrollment and other forms or when you obtain our services. We keep this information and use it to provide services to you and to operate HAP.

When we use the term "HAP," "we" or "us" in this notice, we are referring to Health Alliance Plan and its subsidiaries, including Alliance Health and Life Insurance Company.

How We Protect Your PHI

We protect your PHI, whether it is written, spoken or in electronic form, by requiring employees and others who handle your information to follow specific confidentiality and technology usage policies. When they begin working for HAP, all employees and contractors must sign that they have reviewed HAP's policies and that they will protect member information even after they leave HAP. An employee or contractor's use of protected information is limited to the minimum amount of information necessary to perform a legitimate job function. Employees and contractors are also required to comply with this privacy notice and may not use or disclose your information except as described in this notice.

Using and Disclosing PHI

The following sections describe how HAP uses and shares your health information. We share your information only with those who have a "need to know" in order to perform the tasks listed below:

Treatment

We may share your member information with your doctors, hospitals or other providers to help them provide medical care to you. If you are in the hospital for example, we may give them access to any medical records sent to us by your doctor.

We may use or share your member information with others to help manage your health care. For example, we might talk to your doctor to suggest a disease management or wellness program that could help improve your health.

Payment

We may use or share your member information to help us determine who is financially responsible for your medical bills.

Operations

We share your member information with affiliated companies as permitted by law, non-affiliated third parties with whom we contract to help us operate HAP and with others who are involved in providing or paying for health care services for you. We may share your information with others who help us conduct our business operations. If we do so, we will require these persons or entities to protect the privacy and security of your information and to return or destroy such information when it is no longer needed for our business operations.

Other Uses and Disclosures that are Permitted or Required

HAP may also use or release your health information:

  • For certain types of public health or disaster relief efforts.


  • To give you information about alternative medical treatments and programs or about health related products and services that you may be interested in. For example, we might send you information about smoking cessation or weight loss programs.


  • To give you reminders relating to your health such as a reminder to refill your prescription(s) or to schedule recommended health screenings.


  • For research purposes. For example, a research organization may wish to compare outcomes of all patients that receive a particular drug and will need to review a series of medical records. In all cases where your specific authorization has not been obtained, your privacy will be protected by strict confidentiality requirements applied by an institutional review board or privacy board, which oversees the research, or by representations of the researchers that limit their use and disclosure.


  • To report information to state and federal agencies that regulate us, such as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Michigan Office of Financial and Insurance Services.


  • When needed by the employer/plan sponsor to administer your health benefit plan.


  • For certain FDA investigations such as investigations of harmful events, product defects or for product recalls.

  • For public health activities if we believe there is a serious health or safety threat.


  • For health oversight activities authorized by law.


  • For court proceedings and law enforcement purposes.


  • To a government authority regarding abuse, neglect or domestic violence.


  • To a coroner or medical examiner to identify a deceased person, determine a cause of death or as authorized by law. We may also share member information with funeral directors to carry out their duties, as necessary.


  • To comply with workers' compensation laws.


  • For procurement, banking or transplantation of organs, eyes or tissue.


  • When permitted to be released to government agencies for protection of the president.


  • For rating purposes, when allowed by law. We are not permitted to use or release genetic information about you for rating purposes.


If one of the above reasons does not apply, we must get your written permission to use or disclose your member information. If you give us written permission and change your mind you may cancel your written permission at any time. Cancellation of your permission will not apply to any information we have already disclosed. We may ask you to complete a form when making a request. Once you give us authorization to release your member information, we cannot guarantee that the person to whom the information is provided will not disclose the information.

Other Uses of Health Information

  • We may release your member information to a friend, family member or other individual who is authorized by law to act on your behalf. For example, parents may obtain information about their children covered by HAP, even if the parent is not covered by HAP.


  • We may use or share your information with an employee benefit plan through which you receive health benefits. Except for enrollment information or summary health information and as otherwise required by law, we will not share your information with an employer or plan sponsor unless the employer or plan sponsor has provided us with written assurances that the information will be kept confidential and will not be used for an improper purpose. Generally, information will only be shared when needed by the employer/plan sponsor to administer your health benefit plan.


  • We may give a limited amount of information to someone who helps pay for your care. For example, if your spouse contacts us about a claim, we may tell him/her whether the claim has been paid.


  • We may use your information so that we can contact you, either by phone or by mail, in order to conduct surveys, such as the annual member satisfaction survey.


  • In certain extraordinary circumstances, such as a medical emergency, we may release your information as necessary to a friend or family member who is involved in your care, if we determine that the release of information is in your best interest. For example, if you have a medical emergency in a foreign country and are unable to contact us directly, we may speak with a friend or family member who is acting on your behalf.


Your Member Rights

The following are your rights with respect to your member information. If you would like to exercise the following rights, please contact us as described below, under "Who to Contact."

  • You have the right to ask us to restrict how we use or disclose your member information for treatment, payment or health care operations. You also have the right to ask us to restrict member information that we have been asked to give to family members or to others who are involved in your health care or payment for your health care. Please note that we are not required to agree to these restrictions.


  • You have the right to ask to receive 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 alternate means, by fax or to an alternate address for example. We will try to accommodate reasonable requests.


  • You have the right to inspect and obtain a copy of member information that we maintain about you. We may deny your request to inspect and copy your member information in certain, limited circumstances. For example, we may deny your request if review of the records could endanger you or another person. We may charge you a fee for copies. We will inform you in advance of the fee and provide you with an opportunity to withdraw or modify your request.


  • You have the right to ask us to amend member information we maintain about you. We will require that the information you provide be accurate. We are unable to delete any part of a legal record, such as a claim submitted by your doctor. Please note that we are not required to agree to a request to amend.

  • You have the right to receive an accounting of certain disclosures of your member information made by us during the six years prior to your request. Please note that we are not required to provide you with an accounting of all disclosures we make. For example, we are not required to provide you with an accounting of member information collected prior to April 14, 2003; information disclosed or used for treatment, payment and health care operations purposes; or information disclosed to you or pursuant to your authorization. Your first accounting in any 12-month period is free. However, if you request an additional accounting within 12 months of receiving your free accounting, we may charge you a fee. We will inform you in advance of the fee and provide you with an opportunity to withdraw or modify your request.


  • You have a right to receive a paper copy of this notice upon request at any time.

Your request to exercise any of the above member rights must be in writing and be signed by you or your representative. We may ask you to complete a form when making a request.

Changes to this Privacy Statement

We may from time-to-time change the contents of this notice and reserve the right to do so. If we do so, the new notice will be effective for all the member information maintained by us. Once revised, we will provide the new notice to you by mail and post it on our website.

Who to Contact

If you have any questions about this notice or about how we use or share member information, you may contact the HAP Office of Compliance by mail at:
Health Alliance Plan
Attn: Office of Compliance
2850 West Grand Blvd
Detroit, MI 48202

Complaints

If you believe your privacy rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with us by contacting the Office of Compliance as noted above, or filing a grievance with the Customer Service Department. You may also notify the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services of your complaint. We will not take any action against you for filing a complaint.

Original Effective Date: 4/13/2003
Revisions: 2/05; 11/07; 9/13; 9/14
Reviewed: 11/08; 11/09; 10/11

Internet Privacy Statement

Using the Internet-the Choice is Yours

Using the Internet to communicate with HAP is completely voluntary. You should read this statement to understand the benefits and risks of communicating over the Internet. If you do not choose to communicate with us over the Internet by sending us an email or using one of our Internet services requiring an ID and password, you browse our web site anonymously.

Information We Collect When You Visit Our Web Site

We automatically collect IP addresses and aggregate information on what web pages people use and the frequency and length of their visits. We use this information to evaluate and improve our web site. HAP also uses "cookie" technology to obtain information from its online visitors by placing a small text file on your hard drive. The file is time-sensitive and expires after several minutes to increase the security of your session and data. Data is encrypted when stored on our servers or in cookies. We do not collect any information that can be used to personally identify you unless you voluntarily register to use one of our Internet services requiring an ID and password, or send an email to us.

Information from Other Sources - Third Parties

Health Alliance Plan may purchase consumer information from third party sources to be aggregated and used for marketing purposes for people who are not current HAP members. If you prefer not to have your information from third parties used for marketing purposes, please notify the HAP Customer Services department in writing. Mail your request to:

Health Alliance Plan
2850 W. Grand Blvd
Detroit, MI 48202
Attn: Customer Services

Information We Collect When You Communicate with Us Over the Internet

HAP is committed to protecting the privacy of the personal information you provide to us over the Internet. All information is protected by our privacy policies, which we periodically review and update.

If you choose to communicate with us over the Internet, we may request personally identifiable information from you necessary for us to process your request for information, respond to your questions or deliver a product or service. Personally identifiable information is any information that can be used to identify you, such as your name, address, web address or HAP number. When you send information to us using email or through one of our Internet services requiring an ID and password, the information may be shared with our employees and contractors who need to know the information to respond to your request and as permitted by law. We keep some of this information for a period of time as determined necessary by us.

Information collected when you respond to surveys and promotions on our web site will be used for internal purposes, including developing web site information and services. We may inform you of new products and services from HAP based on the information you provide us.

Using Email and Internet Services Requiring an ID and Password

There are a number of risks you should consider before using email to communicate with us: email can be circulated, forwarded and stored in numerous paper and electronic files; email can be intercepted, altered, forwarded or used without authorization or detection; email senders can easily misaddress an email; backup copies of email may exist even after the sender deletes the email; employers and online services have the right to inspect email transmitted through their systems; email is easier to falsify than handwritten or signed documents; and email can be used to introduce viruses into computer systems. Confidentiality of Internet communications cannot be guaranteed by HAP. Use of the Internet is solely at your own risk.

Links To Other Web Sites

We have links from our web site to a number of different health care related web sites. When you click on one of these links, you leave www.hap.org and link to another web site not controlled by HAP. We do not control the privacy policies or security measures of any these health care related sites. You should read the privacy statements on the other sites you visit to understand their privacy practices.

Security

HAP has taken steps to make all information received from our online visitors as secure as possible against unauthorized access and use. All information is protected by our security measures, which we periodically review and update.

We use security technology to protect you during your Internet communications with us. This security includes server authentication, privacy using encryption, and data integrity. Your personal information is protected from unauthorized access by a secure firewall and security infrastructure. During transmission of information using one of our Internet services requiring an ID and password, your privacy is protected by Secure Socket Layer (SSL) 2048-bit encrypting software. We employ extensive physical, electronic and procedural safeguards to maintain the security of your information. HAP also conducts periodic reviews of its web security to ensure that our electronic security safeguards remain up-to-date and effective.

Safeguarding Your Identification Number

You must take all reasonable precautions to safeguard your Identification Number (ID). This ID allows the user to access confidential information. Such access is provided solely to facilitate the performance of legitimate business functions. Please ensure that you share your ID only with those individuals who require such access to perform legitimate business functions on your behalf. You remain responsible for any use, or misuse, of your ID by you or your employees or agents.

Here's What You Can Do To Protect Your Internet Communications

There are things you can do to improve the privacy and security of your Internet communications. Here are a few of them:

  • When you register to use an Internet service requiring an ID and password, communications between us will be protected by Secure Socket Layer (SSL) 128-bit encrypting software.
  • Do not submit sensitive or confidential information over email links on this web site. Instead, use one of our Internet services requiring an ID and password, or contact us by telephone or mail.
  • Do not communicate sensitive or confidential information to us over the Internet from work. Your employer has the right to inspect your email, co-workers may see the information on a computer screen and you can inadvertently forward the email to co-workers or others.
  • After you submit information online, end your browser session before leaving your computer. This helps preserve the confidentiality of your data by ensuring that you are not leaving personally identifiable information on the computer for those who use the computer after you. This is especially important if you are using a computer in a public area.
  • If you communicate with us over the Internet, tell us when your email address changes.

Members Can Opt Out

If you prefer not to have your information available in Member Services Online, please notify the HAP Customer Service Department in writing. Mail your request to:

Health Alliance Plan
2850 W. Grand Blvd
Detroit, MI 48202
Attn: Customer Service

Once this request is processed, the system will not allow you or anyone to register online and use Member Services Online. If you decide you want to remove this restriction after opting out, notify the Customer Service Department in writing at the above address. You should also contact Customer Service if you receive email from us that you do not wish to receive in the future.

Changes to This Statement

We periodically review and update our privacy policies and security measures. When we do so we may need to change or update this statement and reserve the right to do so. All updates and changes automatically apply to you without notice.

If you do not believe that the policies in this Internet Privacy Statement give you the Internet privacy and security protection you need, you have the ability and right to stop interacting with HAP over the Internet by exiting this web site now.

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