Women, men and teens have the right to confidential access to sensitive services including sexual and reproductive health care. California’s public Family PACT and Medi-Cal programs support the delivery of confidential care for birth control and STD services.
Under California law, minors have access to confidential medical services that include:
- Contraceptive services, including emergency contraception
- Testing, treatment, and prevention of STDs (ages 12 and over)
- Pregnancy testing and prenatal care
- Abortion services
- Mental health services
Private insurance plan policies vary in how they strike a balance between maintaining appropriate communications with plan holders and safeguarding confidential access to sensitive services for insured dependents. This issue is even more pressing now that young adults up to 26 years old are able to remain on their parent’s insurance plans and more individuals and families will move into private insurance coverage with more affordable options available through Covered California - California’s state insurance exchange. To address this issue, California Family Health Council co-sponsored SB 138 - the Confidential Health Information Act - during the 2013 legislative session. On October 1, Governor Jerry Brown signed this important measure into California law. The measure, introduced by Senator Ed Hernandez, closes loopholes and clarifies definitions in existing law to better protect personal and sensitive health information. Click here to learn more.
- SB 138 (Hernandez) – Confidential Health Information Act
Sponsored by California Family Health Council, SB 138 ensures confidential access to sensitive services like sexual and reproductive health care and other services where disclosure may lead to harm.
- AB 499 (Atkins) – Minors Consent to Medical Care
Supported by California Family Health Council, the California legislature passed a law allowing a minor who is 12 years of age or older to consent to medical care related to the prevention of a sexually transmitted disease such as the HPV vaccine.
- American Academy of Pediatrics v. Lungren
The California Supreme Court ruled that minors 18 years and younger can consent to abortion services without parental notification.
- Confidentiality of Medical Information Act (CMIA)
Under California law, CMIA establishes protocols and procedures for the protection of confidential health records. Specifically, the law prohibits the sharing, selling, distribution or otherwise unlawful use of medical information.
- California Code of Regulations, Title 22, Section 51473.2
Under the Medi-Cal Minor Consent Program, providers may provide services to minors under the age of 21 without parental consent if the services are related to sexual assault, pregnancy and pregnancy-related services, family planning, sexually transmitted diseases, drug and alcohol abuse treatment and counseling, and outpatient mental health treatment and counseling.
- California Family Code Section 6925
Under California law, minors may consent to medical care related to the prevention or treatment of pregnancy, except sterilization. Additionally, minors may receive birth control and consent to an abortion without parental consent.
- California Family Code Section 6926
Under California law, minors 12 years of age and older may consent to the medical care related to the diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
- California Family Code Section 6928
Under California law, a minor who may have been sexually assaulted can consent to medical care related to the diagnosis, treatment and collection of medical evidence with regard to the assault. Minors under the age of 12 who may have been raped can consent to medical care related to the diagnosis, treatment and collection of medical evidence with regard to the rape.
- California Health and Safety Code Section 123110, 123115
Under California law, health care providers cannot inform a parent or legal guardian regarding medical services related to the prevention or treatment of pregnancy and STDs, the receipt of birth control and abortion services without the minor’s consent. Providers must obtain signed authorization from the minor in order to share the minor’s medical information with them.
- Title X Family Planning Program
Under Section 42 C.F.R. 59.5(a)(4) of the Title X Family Planning Program, all services provided with Title X funding are required to be available to all adolescents, regardless of age, without parental consent. This law supersedes all state regulations.