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Health Insurance Portability
& Accountability Act
(HIPAA) Resources


Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996


NAHU was extremely pleased at the 1996 enactment of HIPAA, as many of the provisions of the law have been long-standing legislative goals of our organization and are outlined in NAHU's blueprint for health reform, Real Choice.

HIPAA provisions that we particularly support include the small-group and individual market reforms that make health insurance accessible for most Americans, the long-term care insurance tax incentives, the medical savings account demonstration project and the requirement that the federal Secretary of Health and Human Services establish standards for electronic transactions and transmission of information. However, as with any piece of legislation of this magnitude, there are aspects that could be improved upon. As such, NAHU submitted congressional testimony proposing HIPAA clarifications.

Warrick & Boyn HIPAA Presentation

HIPAA and Other Changes Affecting Group Health Plans


The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) was enacted on August 21, 1996, to provide for, among other things, improved portability and continuity of health insurance in group and individual insurance markets, and group health plan coverage provided in connection with employment. These changes affect practically all group health plans providing coverage for employees. These changes help protect individuals from gaps in health insurance coverage, and include some additional administrative requirements that employers must satisfy. HIPAA is generally effective for plan years beginning after June 30, 1997.

Two additional pieces of legislation were also passed in 1996 affecting group health plans. The Mental Health Parity Act of 1996 (MHPA) and the Newborns and Mothers Health Protection Act of 1996 (NMHPA) were both enacted on September 26, 1996. MHPA was enacted to provide for parity in the application of lifetime and annual limits on mental health benefits with those applied to medical and surgical benefits. The NMHPA was enacted to provide protection for mothers and their newborn children regarding the length of hospital stays following the birth of a child. MHPA and NMHPA are effective for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 1998.

This presentation describes the primary requirements imposed under each Act. Since the new rules apply to both group plans and insurance companies, references to the "plan" or "group health plan" include self-funded plans and fully insured plans, unless otherwise noted.

The Health Law Resource Summary of HIPAA Provisions

Health and Human Services Fact Sheet


On August 21, 1996, President Clinton signed into law the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, which includes important new protections for an estimated 25 million Americans (approximately 1 in 10) who move from one job to another, who are self-employed, or who have pre-existing medical conditions. The legislation, which was jointly sponsored by Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Sen. Nancy Kassebaum (R-Kan.), was approved virtually unanimously by the House and Senate. It is designed to improve the availability of health insurance to working families and their children.

For More Information

Complete US. Congress H.R. 3103 HIPAA (PDF)

Health Hippo

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
(formerly HCFA)
HIPAA Online

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Administrative Simplification in the Health Care Industry

U.S. Department of Labor

eLaws-Health Benefit Advisor (HIPAA)

Google search on "HIPAA"