HIPAA stands for “The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996”, it is a law that impacts all aspects of health care:
- Provides the ability to transfer and continue health insurance coverage for millions of Americans when they change/lose their jobs;
- Prevents health care fraud and abuse;
- Mandates industry-wide standards for health care information
- Mandates the protection and confidentiality of protected health information
The two issues that affect group health care plans are, privacy provisions which protect an employee’s personal information, and the requirement to provide certification of creditable coverage when an employee loses coverage. The HIPAA privacy provision requires health care providers, or anyone related to health care, follow procedures that ensure the confidentiality and security of a patient’s protected health information (PHI). Employers must issue a notice to employees regarding how their HIPAA rights are protected.
This legislation impacts all medical providers, and ensures the information is maintained confidential. The portability provisions require the employers provide a Notice of Creditable Coverage to any employee (and dependent of employee) that loses coverage.