What Is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act?

If you’ve been to the doctor, you’ve probably read or heard of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This piece of federal legislation took effect in 1996. It amended the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) once it became law. While you may have heard of HIPAA, you might not know what rights you’re entitled to under it. You need to know this, though.

HIPAA is a federal law that protects both insureds and their beneficiaries. It doesn’t matter whether these individuals secured their health insurance coverage through the marketplace as an individual policyholders or from their employer as part of a group health plan. It protects either one of these insureds and their beneficiaries.

This federal legislation forbids employers from discriminating against their employees and their dependents based on their medical conditions.

HIPAA also eliminated most of the exclusion limits that insurance companies once used to deny individuals from receiving health coverage or to cap benefits for preexisting conditions. Some of the restrictions that once made it impossible for individuals to enroll in a new plan often aren’t a problem now that HIPAA is in effect.

Those persons who elect to purchase an individual health insurance policy that covers either themselves or their family can expect their policies to be renewable now that HIPAA is in effect.

The passing of HIPAA made it possible for many individuals who might have otherwise been unable to secure health insurance coverage to qualify for such benefits. If you are having difficulty obtaining coverage in the marketplace or in adding on your beneficiaries to your group plan, then an ERISA benefits claims attorney here in Washington, D.C., can help you secure the benefits that you deserve.

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