"Family Sharing" Balances the Private and the Practical

Family Sharing Balances the Private and the PracticalWhen lawmakers enacted the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in 1996, there’s no way they could have foreseen something like Rx Savings Solutions. Or maybe they did.

HIPAA is 22 years old now and the law requires us to go to greater lengths than ever to protect private health and personal data. That’s a good thing. For some, it can also be an inconvenience.

For example, did you know it’s illegal for us to show you the medication(s) your spouse is taking without their consent? Same goes for any dependent on your health plan over age 18. Good for privacy. Not so practical for whoever manages the family’s prescriptions if they can’t see valuable Savings Alerts on a family member’s dashboard.

The situation requires adult dependents to activate their own accounts in order to view their own Savings Alerts. That spurred a few user survey comments like the following:

“As a married couple, being able to look up prescriptions on one site would be great and helpful. Doing it twice is a waste of time. We know everything about (each other’s) meds already, so why have 2 accounts?”

“I should be able to see my husband’s medication savings on my account with his permission since he prefers that I handle our prescription savings.”

Necessity once again proved to be the mother of invention. We call it Family Sharing, a new feature on the Rx Savings Solutions member portal.

Here’s how it works: Any adult member can now share profile views and allow their medications to be seen by another adult on their health plan.

Likewise, any adult member can request this permission from another adult member on the plan. An email is automatically sent to the person whose permission is requested, and the requestor gets one when access is granted.

To see which permissions have been granted, simply click the “Privacy” tab in User Settings.

If at any time anyone wants to revoke permission, it can be done in one click.

Yes, in order to grant permission to another adult on your plan, you still have to register your own account first. There’s no way around HIPAA in this case, nor should there be. But it only takes a minute, and then you’re done. From then on, whoever manages the family prescriptions can watch for and view everyone’s Savings Alerts.

You may wonder how someone would see or respond to a request for permission if they’re not already registered. We’ve got that situation covered, too. Our Invite Dependent feature gives primary members the ability to send an email from Rx Savings Solutions to adult dependents, asking them to register and providing a quick link to the portal.

HIPAA is an important law, one with which we’re proud to comply. We’re also proud of our engineering and user-experience teams for finding ways to maintain HIPAA compliance and maximize prescription savings for everyone in the family.