Confidentiality of Health Care Services FAQ

What does Washington Senate Bill 5889 do?

SB 5889 requires confidentiality of certain communications that health insurance companies send to members. It ensures these communications are sent to the person who received the treatment or care instead of the plan subscriber.

Why is this important?

We recognize the importance of member privacy, and we are committed to keeping health information private for our members, including minors, who might be vulnerable if it were shared.

What is a sensitive health condition?

SB 5889 defines sensitive health care services as:

  • Domestic violence
  • Gender-affirming care
  • Gender dysphoria
  • Mental health
  • Reproductive health
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Substance use disorder

What types of communications are impacted by this Bill?

  • Bills and attempts to collect payment
  • Explanations of benefits (EOB) statements, printed and online
  • Notices of contested claims
  • Notices of adverse benefits determinations
  • Provider name and address, description of services provided and other visit information
  • Any written, oral or electronic communications from us that include references to protected health information
  • Requests for additional information about a claim

Who is affected by this Bill?

This affects members of Washington state-based health insurance plans who are members of fully insured plans (Individual, Small Group and Large Group).

What sorts of communications does this cover?

Per Washington SB 5889, this change covers print, digital (online), voice, email and chat communications, including calls to Customer Service that include information about sensitive conditions.

How do members request confidential treatment of their sensitive health care services?

Washington members may send a completed Confidentiality Request Form  to UnitedHealthcare at the following address:

United Healthcare
Customer Service Privacy Unit
PO Box 740815
Atlanta, GA 30374-0815

Where can I find out more about the Washington Senate Bill 5889?

More information can be found on the Washington State Legislature website.