Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)

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    It’s common for employers to provide certain benefits for their employees, many of which are subject to strict rules under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), the Internal Revenue Code, and other laws. Employee benefits can include:  Paid holiday, vacation, and sick leave; Medical, dental, and vision insurance;...

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    The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a federal law that imposes portability, nondiscrimination, and other requirements on certain employer-sponsored health plans. There are also regulations covering how employers must protect employees’ medical privacy rights as well as the electronic disclosure of employees...

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    Of all the federal laws governing the workplace, COBRA (the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985) is at the top of the list in terms of complexity and confusion. COBRA is basically a safety net for employees and their families to keep their health insurance, at their own expense, when they’re between jobs or other life...

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    Under COBRA, group health plans must provide covered employees and their families with certain notices explaining their COBRA rights. They must also have rules for how COBRA continuation coverage is offered, how qualified beneficiaries may elect continuation coverage, and when it can be terminated. For more information on this subject, visit...

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    An employee has cancer. What do you do? Last year, there were 1.6 million new cancer cases in the United States, plus an additional 2 million nonmelanoma skin cancer diagnoses. And with these numbers set to rise, it's safe to say you will have an employee, or an employee's family member, fighting this dreaded disease. If the situation weren't...
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    By John Hickman and Johann Lee Alston & Bird, LLP Since November 2011, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through its Office for Civil Rights (OCR), has been conducting audits of covered entities for compliance with the privacy and security requirements under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability...
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    In today’s uncertain economic climate, both organizations and employees are scrambling to contain their respective health care expenses. As a result, the workplace wellness program has rapidly become a tool that both are using to reduce medical costs. Unfortunately, employers don't realize that wellness programs are subject to a number of...
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    House votes to repeal the CLASS Act The U.S. House of Representatives recently voted to repeal the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) program (also known as the CLASS Act). The House’s vote isn’t really surprising after the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius indicated...
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    By Burton J. Fishman Of counsel, Fortney & Scott, LLC Ever since the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued its regulations regarding the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) and wellness programs in 2009, there has been confusion and some consternation. Both grow from the EEOC's reluctance to accept a...
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    Caterpillar estimates its wellness program will save the company $700 million by 2015. But employers should proceed with caution before implementing new wellness incentives. Scotts Miracle-Gro was just sued by a former employee who was fired for failing a nicotine screening test. And there are numerous federal and state laws governing how far...
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