The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 was a United States Federal statute enacted by the 404th United States Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton on August 21, 1996. The primary purpose of this act was to “establish guidelines for managing health information and for encouraging quality health care.” It also sought to protect patient records, provide for consumer access to such records, and make sure that the records are confidential. It was later included in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act as Title IV of the Act. The main provision of the act is regarding insurance companies and their rights to gather information about an individual’s health.
This act was a response to the privacy concerns that were raised by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. This concern was primarily due to the fact that the original intention of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act was to protect the privacy rights of individuals. However, in the end it turned out that the Act could actually make it easier for insurance companies to get personal information about an individual. As such, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act was changed to prevent insurance companies from using or selling health information about an individual without their permission.
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One of the biggest problems with the original intention of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act was that it allowed too much freedom for insurance companies. For example, they were not bound to tell an individual about certain health conditions, nor were they required to tell them if they treat them. As a result, many individuals suffered unnecessarily, because they did not know that they had conditions that would prevent them from obtaining health insurance coverage. Also, some individuals were denied coverage because they had conditions that did not exist at the time of application. As a result, it can be said that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 helped make insurance coverage more generic than it needed to be.
Today, privacy laws are more strict than ever before. There are only a few exemptions from this rule that allow some health care information to be shared without prior permission. This means that if you choose to use a particular piece of health information for your own purposes, you are doing so with full and complete consent of the patient.
Another problem with the original idea of health portability is that it made it difficult for individuals to compare different health care policies. Because the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act only required companies to give out specific pieces of information, it made it difficult for consumers to obtain the information they needed to make an informed decision about health insurance coverage. Also, the original legislation required that the same information be shared between different companies. This meant that even if the same information was later shared with another company, the original company would have knowledge of it.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act also contained one major downfall. This was the ban on the specific types of healthcare data that health insurance coverage companies were prohibited from using. It required that healthcare information such as age, sex, family status, country of origin and where a person received treatment could not be shared. The ban has, to this day, been weakened somewhat but the intention has never been removed.
In addition to the original problems with the idea of portability, there are also problems with the expansion of healthcare risk pools. As more individuals move across state lines, companies must set up new individual risk pools in order to offer insurance to these individuals. This means that a single company has to process claims across state lines. If you live in only one state, it may be very difficult for you to find a quality health plan. Some plans will still be available outside of your state, but they will be more expensive and not provide the same coverage.
There is no denying that Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act was a step in the right direction when it first came up. Unfortunately, the current state of healthcare and the problems associated with obtaining healthcare have led to many people complaining that the act does not actually do anything to help them. It is true that the original intent of the act is to protect those who need healthcare the most by making it harder for insurance companies to deny the individual’s treatment based on their state of health. However, without altering the current tax laws that make insurance companies wealthy and limit benefits to those with the best insurance, healthcare is likely to remain as a privilege enjoyed only by the very wealthy.