The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 includes new protections for individuals that have pre-existing medical conditions. These protections are especially helpful for individuals and their families when they change or lose their job. In such cases, HIPAA enables them to qualify for health insurance.
The HIPAA provisions amend the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), the Internal Revenue Code, and the Public Health Service Act, which include:
Limits on who can be excluded for health insurance due to pre-existing conditions.
Ensures that employees and their families cannot be denied health coverage because of health status.
Guarantees that you can renew health coverage for certain employers and individuals.
Protects workers who lose health coverage by providing better access to individual health insurance.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) section on HIPAA
HIPAA covers many things for people who have pre-existing conditions. However, the law cannot completely guarantee coverage for everyone and every circumstance. This CMS site dedicated to HIPAA has a list of what HIPAA does and does not do. This page also lists other amendments to HIPAA legislation and has links to more information about the different acts.
Disability Benefits 101
Disability Benefits 101, supported by the World Institute on Disability, provides comprehensive information on your rights and benefits under HIPAA.