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California Department of Healthcare Services

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act

 What is HIPAA?

HIPAA is the acronym for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act that was passed by Congress in 1996.  HIPAA does the following:

  • Provides the ability to transfer and continue health insurance coverage for millions of American workers and their families when they change or lose their jobs;
  • Reduces health care fraud and abuse;
  • Mandates industry-wide standards for health care information on electronic billing and other processes; and
  • Requires the protection and confidential handling of protected health information

 

HIPAA is organized into separate "Titles."  For information on the HIPAA Titles, please go to the HIPAA Title Information Page.

 Health Insurance Portability

The portion of HIPAA addressing the ability to retain health coverage is actually overseen by the California Department of Insurance and the California Department of Managed Health Care.  The links below will take you to useful information about retaining your health insurance.

What is HIPAA?

California Department of Managed Health Care - HIPAA and Coversion Coverage

Protection and Confidential Handling of Health Information

The HIPAA Privacy regulations require health care providers and organizations, as well as their business associates, develop and follow procedures that ensure the confidentiality and security of protected health information (PHI) when it is transferred, received, handled, or shared.  This applies to all forms of PHI, including paper, oral, and electronic, etc.  Furthermore, only the minimum health information necessary to conduct business is to be used or shared.

DHCS has a Privacy Office that oversees compliance on all state and federal privacy laws, including HIPAA.

Visit the DHCS Privacy Office Web Site