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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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Health Plans & Benefits

Portability of Health Coverage (HIPAA)

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) provides rights and protections for participants and beneficiaries in group health plans. HIPAA includes protections for coverage under group health plans that limit exclusions for preexisting conditions; prohibit discrimination against employees and dependents based on their health status; and allow a special opportunity to enroll in a new plan to individuals in certain circumstances. HIPAA may also give you a right to purchase individual coverage if you have no group health plan coverage available, and have exhausted COBRA or other continuation coverage.

DOL Web Pages on This Topic

Questions & Answers: Portability of Health Coverage (HIPAA)
Provides answers to commonly asked questions about HIPAA.

The Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA)
Provides a brief overview of HIPAA.

Compliance Assistance Guide: Health Benefits Under Federal Law
Assists in complying with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, the Newborns' and Mothers' Health Protection Act, the Mental Health Parity Act and the Women's Health and Cancer Rights Act.

Consumer Information on Health Plans
Provides fact sheets, booklets, and other health plan information from the Department's Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA).

Compliance Assistance
Provides publications and other materials to assist employers and employee benefit plan practitioners in understanding and complying with the requirements of the Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) for the administration of pension and health plans.

Your Health Plan and HIPAA ... Making the Law Work for You
Provides information about major provisions of HIPAA, the Newborns' and Mothers' Health Protection Act, the Mental Health Parity Act, and the Women's Health and Cancer Rights Act.

Your Employer's Bankruptcy: How Will it Affect Your Employee Benefits?
Provides information on bankruptcy’s effect on pension plans and group health plans.

An Employee's Guide to Health Benefits Under COBRA (PDF)
COBRA gives workers and their family members who lose their health benefits in certain circumstances the right to choose to continue group health benefits provided by their health plan. This publication provides a detailed overview of the law.

Pension & Health Care Coverage...Questions & Answers for Dislocated Workers
Provides answers to commonly asked questions by dislocated workers about their pension and health benefits.

Top 10 Ways to Make Your Health Benefits Work for You (Español)
Provides 10 tips to help make your health benefits work better for you.

Life Changes Require Health Choices (Español)
Provides guidance on making health benefit decisions following key life events such as marriage or the birth or adoption of a child.

Work Changes Require Health Choices (Español)
Provides information on protecting your health care rights when your work life changes.

Frequently Asked Questions for Reservists Being Called to Active Duty Related to their Pension and Health Benefits
Provides answers to the most frequently asked questions about pension and health benefits by National Guard and reserve members being called to active duty as a result of the events of September 11, 2001.