Bush Administration Publishes Final HIPAA Rules

December 30, 2004 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Final rules regarding health insurance portability drafted by the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Treasury were issued Thursday.

The rules, relating to the Health Insurance portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), were essentially adopted from the interim final rules issued by the three agencies back in 1997, but include some modifications, according to a  press release.  The rules already contained certain limits on preexisting exclusions that health plans can impose on workers, and allowed workers to receive credit for prior health coverage to reduce future preexisting condition exclusions, according to the press release.

>Workers also automatically receive certificates demonstrating prior health coverage, but the final rules require an education statement explaining individuals’ rights to health coverage portability to be included with such certificates. The new rules also give model language that employers can use. A model certificate is  here .

>The agencies also published a proposed regulation that would modify the break in coverage and special enrollment rules, which would give workers who have not received a certificate up to a 44 days extension.

>General information about HIPAA is at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/newsroom/fshipaa.html .