Rework EOBs to address privacy of young adult dependents

January 22, 2014

Avoiding disclosure of sensitive information on EOBs could make coverage more appealing to young people.

Privacy issues can act as a barrier for uninsured young adults seeking health coverage, experts say. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), young adults can stay on their parents' policy until age 26. For those considering joining a family plan as a dependent, patient privacy could be a factor in their decision. For this reason, plans might benefit from updating their Explaination of Benefit (EOB) statements and dispersing them in a way to ensure more privacy. 

“A lot of young adults live at home, and if they’re going to become dependents then they’re going to be on their parents’ coverage,” says Ted Goldman, lead author of the Health Policy brief Young Adults and the Affordable Care Act. “You don’t always want your mother getting your mail and opening it up to see that you had some medical procedure until you tell her about it.”

Sending information directly to the patient, not the subscriber, and avoiding disclosure of sensitive information on EOBs could make coverage more appealing to young people.

The enrollment of young adults is vital to the long-term survival of the exchanges, industry experts say. Young and healthy beneficiaries are needed to balance the risk pool so premiums can stay low and a death spiral is avoided. 

Look for more tips on how to attract young invincibles in our February issue.