Confidentiality Protocols for Victims of Domestic Violence and Other Protected Individuals
MetLife is committed to keeping all customer information confidential.
In instances where a customer or a participant under an insurance policy is, or has been, a victim of domestic violence or other abuse, or is a protected individual, MetLife understands that certain personal information or communications may require special handling. This may include the victim or protected individual’s address, telephone number, the health service provider’s name and address, medical information related to sensitive services, or how MetLife communicates to you regarding your receipt of sensitive services.
Procedure to make a request for confidentiality:
If you are a MetLife customer or a participant under an insurance policy, who is a victim of domestic violence or other abuse or a protected individual under certain state laws, and would like MetLife to take steps to safeguard your information from others (such as the policyholder or others covered under the same policy), please complete the Confidential Communications Request form or call 1-800-MET-LIFE (1-800-638-5433).
Please be advised that MetLife has up to three business days to implement the necessary protocols to secure your personal information.
Procedure to revoke a request:
If you are a MetLife customer or a participant under a group insurance policy who has previously submitted a request for confidentiality and would now like to revoke that request, please call 1-800-MET-LIFE (1-800-638-5433).
Additional Information for Residents of New York State
If you would like additional information about domestic violence, please refer to the New York State Domestic and Sexual Violence Hotline at 1-800-942-6906, English & español/Multi-language Accessibility. Deaf or Hard of Hearing: 711.
New York Insurance Law section 2612, with respect to all insurers regulated under the Insurance Law, including health maintenance organizations (“HMOs”), provides in relevant part that if any person covered by an insurance policy delivers to the insurer a valid order of protection against the policyholder or other person covered by the policy, then the insurer is prohibited for the duration of the order from disclosing to the policyholder or other person the address and telephone number of the insured, or of any person or entity providing covered services to the insured. If a child is a covered person, then the right established by this section may be asserted by the child’s parent or guardian.
Effective January 1, 2013, Insurance Law section 2612 also requires a health insurer, as defined in that section, to accommodate a reasonable request made by a person covered by an insurance policy or contract to receive communications of claim-related information by alternative means or at alternative locations if the person clearly states that disclosure of the information could endanger the person. If a child is the covered person, then this right may be asserted by the child’s parent or guardian.
Except with the express consent of the person making the request, a health insurer may not disclose to the policyholder: (1) the address, telephone number, or any other personally identifying information of the person who made the request or child for whose benefit a request was made; (2) the nature of the health care services provided; or (3) the name or address of the provider of the covered services.
The New York State Department of Financial Services (“Department”) has promulgated emergency measure 11 NYCRR 244 (Insurance Regulation 168), which requires insurers to develop and implement confidentiality protocols. For health insurers, this also must include written procedures by which a person may make a reasonable request to receive communications of claim-related information by alternative means or at alternative locations and procedures for revoking such a request.
Additional Information for Residents of California
Effective July 1, 2022 California Assembly Bill 1184 amends Section 56.05 of the Civil Code to require, among other changes, a health care service plan or health insurer to accommodate requests for confidential communication of medical information regardless of whether there is a situation involving sensitive services or circumstances in which disclosure would endanger the protected individual.
The bill defines sensitive services as all health care services related to mental or behavioral health, sexual and reproductive health, sexually transmitted infections, substance use disorder, gender affirming care, and intimate partner violence obtained by a patient at or above the minimum age specified for consenting to the service specified in the section.
Except with the express consent of the person making the request, a health insurer may not disclose medical information related to sensitive health care services provided to a protected individual to the policyholder, primary subscriber, or any other plan enrollees.