Member Rights and Responsibilities

Member rights and responsibilities

Questions? Contact us.

You have the right to choose a qualified personal health or behavioral health provider.

Your rights

As a member of SelectHealth, you have a right to:

  • Be cared for with respect, without regard for health status, sex, race, color, religion, national
    origin, age, marital status or sexual orientation,

  • Be told where, when and how to get the services you need from SelectHealth,

  • Be told by your PCP what is wrong, what can be done for you, and what will likely be the
    result in language you understand,

  • Get a second opinion about your care,

  • Give your OK to any treatment or plan for your care after that plan has been fully explained
    to you,

  • Refuse care and be told what you may risk if you do,

  • Refuse enrollment into a Health Home and be told how to receive your physical and behavioral
    health care needs without having an assigned Health Home Care Manager,

  • Get a copy of your medical record, and talk about it with your PCP, and to ask, if needed, that
    your medical record be amended or corrected,

  • Be sure that your medical record is private and will not be shared with anyone except as
    required by law, contract, or with your approval,

  • Use SelectHealth complaint system to settle any complaints, or you can complain to the New York State Department of Health or the local Department of Social Services any time you feel you were not fairly treated,

  • Use the State Fair Hearing system,

  • Appoint someone (relative, friend, lawyer, etc.) to speak for you if you are unable to speak
    for yourself about your care and treatment, and

  • Receive considerate and respectful care in a clean and safe environment free of unnecessary restraints.

Your responsibilities

As a member of SelectHealth, you agree to:

  • Work with your care team to protect and improve your health,

  • Find out how your health care system works,

  • Listen to your PCP’s advice and ask questions when you are in doubt,

  • Call or go back to your PCP if you do not get better, or ask for a second opinion,

  • Treat health care staff with the respect you expect yourself,

  • Tell us if you have problems with any health care staff. Call the SelectHealth Care Team,

  • Keep your appointments. If you must cancel, call as soon as you can,

  • Use the emergency room only for real emergencies, and

  • Call your PCP when you need medical care, even if it is after-hours

The LGBTQ Health Care Bill of Rights

VNS Health strongly supports the NYC Health LGBTQ Health Care Bill of Rights

In New York City, it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression in public accommodations, including in health care settings.

You have these rights when seeking health care services in New York City:

  1. Right to be treated with dignity, respect and professionalism in all health care settings by all providers, staff members and volunteers

  2. Right to receive compassionate, judgment-free and comprehensive care that is mindful of your sexual orientation, sexual behavior, gender identity and gender expression. This right applies to all health services, with a particular emphasis on the following:
    2a.    Primary care
    2b.    Emergency care
    2c.    Sexual health care, including preventive services; risk and harm reduction counseling; and testing and treatment for HIV, sexually transmitted infections, viral hepatitis and HPV-related cancers
    2d.    Gender transition-related care
    2e.    Reproductive health care and family planning
    2f.    Mental and behavioral health care
    2g.    Care following trauma, including care after hate violence, sexual violence and intimate partner violence
    2h.    Alcohol and drug use evaluation, counseling and treatment

  3. Right to have respectful discussions with providers about your health and health care needs, including your sexual history, current sex life, sexual pleasure and relationships

  4. Right to have your gender identity and gender expression recognized, affirmed and documented, including:
    4a.    Staff members using your self-designated name and pronouns, and mirroring the language you use to describe your body
    4b.    Access to paper and electronic forms and medical records that use your self-designated name, pronouns and gender marker
    4c.    Access to single-sex facilities consistent with your gender identity and gender expression

  5. Right to clear explanations of providers’ requests for your personal health information, including with whom the information may be shared, and the right to withhold that information

  6. Right to clear explanations of all medical procedures and risks; right to choose or refuse any treatment and to refuse to participate in research without putting your treatment at risk

  7. Right to access health-related coverage and benefits without discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression

  8. Right to choose who will make medical decisions for you if you are unable to do so; and, for minors, the right to have your wishes and best interests included in these decisions

  9. Right to decide who may and may not visit you if you are admitted to a health care facility

  10. Right to privacy and confidentiality

These rights apply to all New York City health care settings in which medical and other social support services are offered, including hospitals; emergency rooms; urgent care centers; clinics; physicians’, nurse practitioners’ and physician assistants, offices, nursing homes, and long-term care facilities; and community-based organizations. These rights apply to all New York City residents and visitors receiving care within the five boroughs.

For more information, visit

If you believe you have been mistreated or denied care or services because of your sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, call 311 or 718-722-3131 to file a complaint with the New York City Commission on Human Rights.

Reprinted with permission from the New York City Department of Health.

Download a PDF of the LGBTQ Health Care Bill of Rights.