Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
||What is HIPAA?
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act was passed by Congress in 1996. This law helps to protect an employee's right to health coverage during events such as changing or losing jobs, pregnancy, moving or divorce. It also provides rights and protections for employers when obtaining and renewing health coverage for their employees.
||HIPAA and the Department of Employee Insurance
The HIPAA's Privacy Rules became effective April 14, 2003. These were issued to provide protection against the unauthorized use and disclosure of an individual's Protected Health Information (PHI). The Department of Employee Insurance is adhering to these rules in order to protect the confidentiality of our members. PHI is defined as information that can be identified as belonging to a specific individual. This information can be transmitted or maintained in many ways such as, but not limited to, mail, fax, copier, telephone, email or paper mediums. Disclosure of PHI to anyone other than the member is prohibited without the member's specific authorization to disclose.
Health Insurance and Health Flexible Spending information maintained by the Department of Employee Insurance may be disclosed to the member's spouse, dependent, or the member's legal counsel/representative if that member has completed an Authorization for Disclosure Form for the plan year and it has been received by the Department of Employee Insurance. If the member obtains legal counsel, the member will need to complete the Authorization for Disclosure Form and also provide a copy of the Letter of Representation authorizing the Department of Employee Insurance to correspond with the legal counsel. If the correct information is not provided to the Department of Employee Insurance, there will be no disclosure of information to anyone except the member. The Department of Employee Insurance will only provide information pertaining to eligibility, enrollment, disenrollment and Qualifying Events.
Authorization for Disclosure Forms are maintained by the Department of Employee Insurance for the plan year or until revoked by the member, whichever is shorter.
The member will need to contact his/her carrier for information relating to payment of claims and services provided under his/her health plan. If the member needs to have information disclosed from the carrier to someone else, the carrier may require the member to complete its company's Authorization for Disclosure Form. The Authorization for Disclosure Form completed for the Department of Employee Insurance to disclose PHI will not be accepted by the carrier. The member will be required to abide by the carrier's policies and procedures concerning release of the member's PHI.
If you have any questions pertaining to HIPAA, please contact the Department of Employee Insurance.
Department of Employee Insurance HIPAA Contact Information:
HIPAA Privacy Officer: Joe R. Cowles, (502) 564-7430
HIPAA Security Officer: Cindy Stivers, (502) 564-6730
Contact DEI regarding Privacy Issues