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Pennsylvania Code



146b.1.    Purpose.
146b.2.    Definitions.

§ 146b.1. Purpose.

 (a)  Purpose. This chapter:

   (1)  Governs the treatment of all nonpublic personal health information about individuals by various licensees of the Department.

   (2)  Describes the conditions under which a licensee may disclose nonpublic personal health information about consumers to a third party.

   (3)  Requires licensees to obtain an authorization from consumers prior to disclosing nonpublic personal health information, unless otherwise permitted in this chapter.

 (b)  Compliance. A licensee domiciled in this Commonwealth that is in compliance with this chapter and Chapter 146a (relating to privacy of consumer financial information) in a state that has not enacted laws or regulations that meet the requirements of Title V of the act of November 12, 1999 (Pub. L. No. 106-102, 113 Stat. 1338) known as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999) (15 U.S.C.A. § §  6801—6827) may nonetheless be deemed to be in compliance with Title V of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act in the other state.

 (c)  Examples. The examples provided in this chapter are for illustrative purposes only and do not otherwise limit or restrict the scope of this chapter.

§ 146b.2. Definitions.

 The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

   Act—The Insurance Department Act of 1921 (40 P. S. § §  1—321).

   Annual receipts—Premium, commissions, fees or operating revenue received in a 12-month period.

   Commissioner—The Insurance Commissioner of the Commonwealth.

   Company—A corporation, limited liability company, business trust, general or limited partnership, association, sole proprietorship or similar organization.


     (i)   An individual, or that individual’s legal representative, who seeks to obtain, obtains or has obtained an insurance product or service from a licensee that is to be used primarily for personal, family or household purposes, and about whom the licensee has nonpublic personal health information. Examples include:

       (A)   An individual who provides nonpublic personal health information to a licensee in connection with obtaining or seeking to obtain financial, investment or economic advisory services relating to an insurance product or service, regardless of whether the licensee establishes an ongoing advisory relationship.

       (B)   An applicant for insurance prior to the inception of insurance coverage.

       (C)   A beneficiary of a life insurance policy underwritten by the licensee.

       (D)   A claimant under an insurance policy issued by the licensee.

       (E)   An insured under an insurance policy or an annuitant under an annuity issued by the licensee.

       (F)   A mortgagor of a mortgage covered under a mortgage insurance policy.

       (G)   A participant or a beneficiary of an employee benefit plan that the licensee administers or sponsors or for which the licensee acts as a trustee, insurer or fiduciary.

       (H)   An individual covered under a group or blanket insurance policy or group annuity contract issued by the licensee.

       (I)   A claimant in a workers’ compensation plan.

     (ii)   Examples of persons who are not consumers are as follows:

       (A)   An individual is not a consumer solely because the individual is a beneficiary of a trust for which the licensee is a trustee.

       (B)   An individual is not a consumer solely because the individual has designated the licensee as trustee for a trust.

       (C)   An individual who is a consumer of another financial institution is not a licensee’s consumer solely because the licensee is acting as agent for, or provides processing or other services to, that financial institution.

   Department—The Insurance Department of the Commonwealth.

   Federal regulation—The Federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) privacy regulation as promulgated by the United States Department of Health and Human Services in 45 CFR Parts 160—164.

   Financial institution

     (i)   An institution the business of which is engaging in activities that are financial in nature or incidental to the financial activities as described in section 4(k) of the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 (12 U.S.C.A. §  1843(k)).

     (ii)   The term does not include the following:

       (A)   A person or entity with respect to a financial activity that is subject to the jurisdiction of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission under the Commodity Exchange Act (7 U.S.C.A. § §  1—25).

       (B)   The Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation or an entity charged and operating under the Farm Credit Act of 1971 (12 U.S.C.A. § §  2001—2279cc).

       (C)   Institutions chartered by Congress specifically to engage in securitizations, secondary market sales (including sales of servicing rights) or similar transactions related to a transaction of a consumer, as long as the institutions do not sell or transfer nonpublic personal information to a nonaffiliated third party.

   Health care

     (i)   Preventative, diagnostic, therapeutic, rehabilitative, maintenance or palliative care, services, procedures, tests or counseling that either:

       (A)   Relates to the physical, mental or behavioral condition of an individual.

       (B)   Affects the structure or function of the human body or a part of the human body, including the banking of blood, sperm, organs or other tissue.

     (ii)   Prescribing, dispensing or furnishing to an individual drugs or biologicals, or medical devices or health care equipment and supplies.

   Health care provider

     (i)   A physician or other health care practitioner licensed, accredited or certified to perform specified health services consistent with the laws of the Commonwealth.

     (ii)   A health care facility.

   Health information—Information or data except age, gender or nonpublic personal financial information, whether oral or recorded in a form or medium, created by or derived from a health care provider or the consumer that relates to one or more of the following:

     (i)   The past, present or future physical, mental or behavioral health or condition of an individual.

     (ii)   The provision of health care to an individual.

     (iii)   Payment for the provision of health care to an individual.

   Insurance product or service—A product or service that is offered by a licensee under the insurance laws of the Commonwealth. Insurance service includes a licensee’s evaluation, brokerage or distribution of information that the licensee collects in connection with a request or an application from a consumer for an insurance product or service.


     (i)   A licensed insurer, as defined in section 201-A of the act (40 P. S. §  65.1-A), a producer and other persons or entities licensed or required to be licensed, or authorized or required to be authorized, or registered or required to be registered under the act or The Insurance Company Law of 1921 (40 P. S. § §  361—991.2361), including health maintenance organizations holding a certificate of authority under section 201 of the Health Care Facilities Act (35 P. S. §  448.201).

     (ii)   The term does not include:

       (A)   Bail bondsmen as defined in 42 Pa.C.S. §  5741 (relating to definitions).

       (B)   Motor vehicle physical damage appraisers as defined in section 2 of the Motor Vehicle Physical Damage Appraiser Act (63 P. S. §  852) and §  62.1 (relating to definitions).

     (iii)   Subject to subparagraph (iv), the term does not include governmental health insurance programs such as the following:

       (A)   The Children’s Health Insurance Program as provided for in the Children’s Health Care Act (40 P. S. § §  991.2301—991.2361).

       (B)   The Medicaid program as provided for in sections 441.1—453 of the Public Welfare Code (62 P. S. § §  441.1—453).

       (C)   The Medicare+Choice program as provided for in the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, sections 1851—1859, Medicare Part C under Title XVIII of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C.A. § §  1395w-21—1395w-29).

       (D)   The Adult Basic Care program as provided for in the Tobacco Settlement Act. See section 1303 of the Tobacco Settlement Act (35 P. S. §  5701.1303).

     (iv)   The term includes a licensee that enrolls, insures or otherwise provides an insurance related service to participants that procure health insurance through a governmental health insurance program exempted under subparagraph (iii).

     (v)   Subject to subparagraph (ii), the term ‘‘licensee’’ shall also include a nonadmitted insurer that accepts business placed through a surplus lines licensee (as defined in section 1602 of The Insurance Company Law of 1921 (40 P. S. §  991.1602) in this Commonwealth, but only in regard to the surplus lines placements placed under Article XVI of The Insurance Company Law of 1921 (40 P. S. § §  991.1601—991.1625).

   Nonpublic personal financial information—As defined in §  146a.2 (relating to definitions).

   Nonpublic personal health information

     (i)   The term means either of the following:

       (A)   Health information that identifies an individual who is the subject of the information.

       (B)   Health information that there is a reasonable basis to believe could be used to identify an individual.

     (ii)   The term does not include nonpublic personal financial information.

   Producer—An insurance agent or broker licensed or required to be licensed by the Department under the act.

Cross References

   This section cited in 31 Pa. Code §  146c.2 (relating to definitions).

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