Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act

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The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, most commonly known by its initials HIPAA, was enacted by Congress then signed by President Bill Clinton on August 21, 1996. This act was put into place in order to regulate the privacy of patient health information, and as an effort to lower the cost of health care, shape the many pieces of our complicated healthcare system. This act also protects individuals from losing their health insurance if they lose their employment or choose to switch employers. . Before HIPAA there was no standard or consistency for the enforcement of the privacy for patients and the rules and regulations varied by state and organizations. HIPAA virtually affects everybody within the healthcare field including but not limited to patients, providers, payers and intermediaries. Although there are many parts of the HIPAA act, for the purposes of this paper we are going to focus on the two main sections and the four objectives of HIPAA, a which are to improve the portability (the capability of transferring from one employee to another) of health insurance, combat fraud, abuse, and waste in health insurance, to promote the expanded use of medical savings accounts, and to simplify the administration of health insurance. Title I of the HIPAA act refers to mostly the group health plans and the restrictions they can place upon the policy holder. In layman’s terms, HIPAA makes sure through Title I, that a third party cannot deny you coverage due to the loss or change in employment. On top of the basic clause, a group plan cannot deny coverage based on your health status, which includes medical history, genetic information, or disabilities. Title I also enables the policy holder to lessen the exclusion period by the amount of time of creditable coverage, which refers to nearly all group plans, individual plans, Medicare, and Medicaid, before enrollment of the new plan and after any significant breaks, defined as 63 days without...
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