Brianna Boone

  • Hosted by Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women
  • Sponsored by Medtronic, Robins Kaplan LLP
  • Service location St. Paul, Minnesota
  • Law school University of Minnesota Law School
  • Issue area Domestic Violence, Health Care
  • Fellowship class year 2015
  • Program Design Your Own Fellowship

The Project

Brianna will ensure domestic violence victims can access confidential health services by protecting victim rights under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) through legal education, policy change, and direct representation.

Many domestic violence victims cannot access health services without the knowledge of an abuser. This happens because many victims are insured as dependents on an abuser’s health insurance policy, and Minnesota law requires health insurance providers to send a policyholder an explanation of benefits anytime someone uses the policy to pay for healthcare. As a result, many victims forgo receiving important health services out of fear an abuser will find out and become violent. Although HIPAA allows victims to request that health insurance providers do not disclose healthcare information to a policyholder, almost no one knows this protection exists, and it is rarely used. Additionally, most insurance companies do not have methods in place for processing requests, so there is a high risk that insurance companies will violate victims’ confidentiality rights when requests are made.

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