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HIPAA Portability Regulations

The Department of Health and Human Services issued final rules on HIPAA portability on February 28, and those rules went into effect July 1. Most of the requirements are similar to the interim regulations issues in 1997, but there are a few new requirements. The final regulations include a model certificate of creditable coverage, sample language for various requirements and COBRA notices. The notices require both a contact name and telephone number to be included in order to obtain additional information.

The final regulations also provide clarification on preexisting condition exclusions, specifically addressing what may be considered a hidden preexisting condition exclusion, which is prohibited under HIPAA. They also include information on special enrollment periods, significant breaks in coverage and excepted benefits.

The final regulations can be found at:

Other Issues

Provisions of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) are set to expire December 31. The Department of Treasury issued a report at the end of June on how TRIA has been working since the original legislation was enacted. Treasurys comments did not include any policy recommendations but, in light of last weeks unfortunate incident in London, discussions on TRIA are expected to increase. Supporters of the Act would like to amend its provisions to encompass group life insurance.

A number of pharmaceutical companies have come together to create a discount prescription drug card, Together Rx Access, for qualifying individuals at no cost. This is in addition to the numerous programs available through individual drug companies for low-income individuals and individuals with specific conditions. Information is available at or by calling 1-800-444-4106.

Mark Scalera