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Changes In New York State Law Protect Victims Of Domestic Violence

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PROTECTIONS – Part of the new domestic violence reform law, designed to protect victims’ health care and insurance information, (Chapter 491, S7638), takes effect on January 1, 2012. The landmark law, sponsored by Senator Steve Saland (R-I-C, Poughkeepsie), Chairman of the Senate Codes Committee includes several important provisions to protect victims of domestic violence and establish stronger criminal penalties to punish individuals who commit acts of domestic violence.

As of the first of the year, victims of domestic violence who seek medical and/or mental health services and use their health insurance to pay for that care, can designate alternative contact information so they may receive health insurance correspondence in a safe location of their own choosing, such as the home of a friend or family member, a post office box, or a shelter.

“Current law already bars disclosure of an address and phone number when an order of protection is in place,” Senator Saland said. “This law greatly expands the information to be protected by ensuring that a victims’ health insurance information is not sent to the same address as the alleged abuser, thus affording more protection domestic violence victims.”

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