Web Security

Information Privacy and Protection Laws

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act ("HIPAA") of 1996, as amended and included any implementing regulations, require a party to protect the privacy or security of information pertaining to the health or medical status or condition of an individual, and/or the payment for health or medical care for an individual. All statutes, regulations, administrative or judicial rulings requiring a party to protect the confidentiality, privacy and/or security of information pertaining to individuals will be enforced.

Secured Socket Layer (SSL) Encryption

The secured areas of the Teachers Health Trust website – Claim Inquiry and Eligibility Inquiry – have a security system that use Secured Socket Layer (SSL) encryption. Confidential information, including Social Security and Provider identification numbers, are encrypted (scrambled) during transmission and decrypted (unscrambled) once the security system is certain only the authorized party has received the information. Financial Institutions and other businesses in order to safeguard Internet financial transactions are successfully using the Secured Socket Layer encryption method.

Disclaimer of Warranties and Limitations of Liability

The Teachers Health Trust has taken reasonable steps to ensure that the information contained on this website and other documents, which are referenced or linked to this website, are accurate and timely. The Teachers Health Trust intends to continue the plans described in this website indefinitely. However, because unforeseen circumstances may arise, the Teachers Health Trust reserves the right to terminate a plan and to amend or modify the provisions of a plan at any time. The Board of Trustees of the Teachers Health Trust has the final authority to determine eligibility for benefits and to construe the terms of any plan.

Health and Welfare benefits are not a vested right but may be changed, reduced or modified at the discretion of the Board of Trustees.

Links to any documents outside of this website are provided as a convenience and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Teachers Health Trust Board of Trustees or the employees of the Teachers Health Trust. Nor do links to such documents in any way suggest the Teachers Health Trust's endorsement of any product or service specified therein.

Privacy Policy

I. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that confidentiality of health related information is maintained for all Teachers Health Trust participants and to provide participants with notice of Teachers Health Trust's information practices.

II. Teachers Health Trust Definitions

Protected Health information is any health information data, received by Teachers Health Trust, which identifies an individual and the health information relating to his / her current or prior health conditions.

Eligibility Information is information, whether written or oral, which describes a participant or a participant's eligibility for past or future health benefits and the extent to which those services are covered under the participant's selected health plan. Eligibility information does not include any protected health information.

III. Teachers Health Trust Policy

Teachers Health Trust shall not disclose any protected health information about a participant collected or received in connection with the submission of a medical / dental or vision claims unless the disclosure is to the participant or the participant's legal representative or guardian, upon presentation to Teachers Health Trust of a valid Social Security or Participant Identification number; or with the verifiable written authorization of the participant, the participant's legal representative or guardian, signed by the participant or the participant's legal representative or guardian and obtained one (1) year or less prior to the date a disclosure is sought.

Release of protected health information shall be made only to enable the Teachers Health Trust or its representatives to perform a business, professional or insurance function for Teachers Health Trust and such party signs a written confidentiality statement agreeing not to disclose the information further without the participant's written authorization unless the further disclosure would otherwise be permitted by the Teachers Health Trust.

The release of protected health information shall be made to detect or prevent criminal activity, fraud, material misrepresentation or material nondisclosure in connection with a benefits claim or transaction. Additionally the release of protected information shall be made to protect the interests of the Teachers Health Trust in preventing or prosecuting the perpetration of fraud upon it or if the Teachers Health Trust reasonably believes that the participant has conducted illegal activities.

Release of protected health information shall be made for the purpose of conducting actuarial or research studies, to approved organizations for purposes of research public health improving services for the Trust.

Release of protected health information shall be made in response to a valid administrative or judicial order, including a search warrant or subpoena and otherwise as required by law.

Eligibility Information will be provided to a participant, a participant's current spouse, a participant's eligible dependent or the legal representative of an eligible dependent, upon presentation to Teachers Health Trust of a participant's valid Social Security or identification number.

Eligibility information will also be provided to a physician, medical facility or organization upon presentation of appropriate participant identification numbers through either the Teachers Health Trust Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system or the Internet web page (www.teachershealthtrust.org)

IV. Teachers Health Trust Procedure

All Teachers Health Trust employees, and partners, agree to abide by Teachers Health Trust's policy and procedure of "Confidentiality " which details the importance of maintaining confidentiality of medical records, personal information, insurance claims and other materials. The consequences of violating this policy include disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from employment, and termination of contractual relationships.

All employees hired by the Teachers Health Trust, as a condition of employment must sign a confidentiality statement.

Any patient specific information or medical record will be considered confidential and will be shared only with those parties who have the authority to receive such information, as provided above.

If disclosure is required through a court order or subpoena, the order or subpoena will first be reviewed by the Teachers Health Trust Legal Counsel to determine the legitimacy of the order, the purpose for the disclosure, and limitations on the information disclosed.

All patient specific medical information will be stored for the appropriate length of time as required by legal statutes and company policy, in files that are locked and made accessible only for the purposes stated above.

System stored patient specific medical and personal information will be protected through system security measures designed to protect against access by unauthorized staff.

Additionally, Teachers Health Trust will continue to monitor the proposed regulations pursuant to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, and will implement such security measures mandated by regulations upon completion. Teachers Health Trust currently employs industry standard system security measures to protect electronically stored and transmitted information.

V. Confidentiality and Security on www.teachershealthtrust.org

Teachers Health Trust respects the privacy of its website users. Accessing the Teachers Health Trust website will not capture personal information.

Teachers Health Trust participants who enter personal information should know all communication between your computer and Teachers Health Trust's web servers are encrypted using secure socket layer (SSL) technology. Teachers Health Trust's secure server software is the industry standard and among the best software available today for secure transactions.

Why do you need to enter personal information?

Some features, such as Teachers Health Trust's Claims History and Participant Eligibility, are tied directly to each participant's information. Identification information is required to ensure those accessing this information are authorized to receive it.

At Teachers Health Trust, we understand the privacy concerns regarding the use of participants Social Security Number for identification. Social Security Numbers are routinely used for patient identification in the health care industry. Please be assured your Social Security Number will only be used to administer your Health Trust Benefits. Teachers Health Trust does not release Social Security Numbers to unauthorized individuals.

VI. The Use of Cookies

Cookies are pieces of information that are stored on a user's PC when the user accesses a website. Teachers Health Trust uses temporary cookies to help you access some of the special functions within the database driven areas of Teachers Health Trust's site. Once you leave our website, these cookies expire. Cookies do not collect personal identifying information about the user.

If you have any further questions regarding the security practices of this website, we encourage you to e–mail the Webmaster by by clicking here.