Health Insurance Portability And Accountability Act - HIPAA

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Health Insurance Portability And Accountability Act - HIPAA'

An act created by the U.S Congress in 1996 that amends both the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and the Public Health Service Act (PHSA) in an effort to protect individuals covered by health insurance and to set standards for the storage and privacy of personal medical data.

BREAKING DOWN 'Health Insurance Portability And Accountability Act - HIPAA'

The HIPAA ensures that individual health care plans are accessible, portable, and renewable, and it sets the standards and the methods for how medical data is shared across the U.S. health system in order to prevent fraud. It pre-empts state law unless the state's regulations are more stringent.

This act has been modified since 1996 to include processes for safely storing and sharing patient medical information electronically. The act also has an administrative simplification provision, which is aimed at increasing efficiency and reducing administrative costs by establishing national standards.

Health insurers, health maintenance organizations (HMOs), healthcare billing services and other entities that handle sensitive personal medical information must comply with the standards set by the HIPAA. Noncompliance may result in civil or criminal penalties.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Affordable Care Act

    A federal statute signed into law in March 2010 as a part of ...
  2. Medicare Supplementary Medical ...

    Health insurance sold by private insurance companies meant to ...
  3. Accident And Sickness Insurance ...

    This is a Canadian government statute that defines the acceptable ...
  4. Group Health Insurance Plan

    An insurance plan that provides healthcare coverage to a select ...
  5. Long-Term Care (LTC) Insurance

    Coverage that provides nursing-home care, home-health care, personal ...
  6. Medicare

    A U.S. federal health program that subsidizes people who meet ...
Related Articles
  1. Home & Auto

    Health Insurance: Paying For Pre-Existing Conditions

    If you bring a pre-existing condition to a new insurer, you may find yourself without coverage.
  2. Home & Auto

    Fighting The High Costs Of Healthcare

    If your employer is cutting medical benefits, a health savings account may be right for you.
  3. Home & Auto

    How To Avoid Medical Debt

    Find out what you can do to avoid a financial meltdown when there's a medical emergency.
  4. Options & Futures

    Getting Through The Medicare Part D Maze

    Having trouble sorting through your prescription drug coverage options? We offer some solutions to the confusing process of selecting the right Medicare Part D coverage for you.
  5. Insurance

    Medicaid Vs. Long-Term Care Insurance

    These are not equal. Here's why you need to think twice before relying on the government-sponsored program.
  6. Insurance

    Explaining Co-Pays

    A co-pay is a set dollar amount an insured patient pays when visiting a doctor, filling a prescription, having tests performed or receiving other medical treatment.
  7. Investing Basics

    Understanding Brokerage Fees

    Agents charge brokerage fees for facilitating transactions between buyers and sellers.
  8. Retirement

    Infographic: How Much Money Do You Need to Retire in Hawaii?

    In this infographic we break down cost of living in Honolulu, Hawaii in terms of taxes, rent, food and other expenses and offer comparison to the cost of living in New York, Los Angeles, San ...
  9. Term

    What are Pension Funds?

    A pension fund is a company-sponsored fund that provides income for employees in retirement.
  10. Retirement

    Retirement Planning for Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses

    If your business has receiveables, here's a smart way to leverage them to build up your retirement fund fast.
RELATED FAQS
  1. Can my IRA be garnished for child support?

    Though some states protect IRA savings from garnishment of any kind, most states lift this exemption in cases where the account ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Can I use my IRA savings to start my own savings?

    While there is no legal reason why you cannot withdraw funds from your IRA to start a traditional savings account, it is ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Can creditors garnish my IRA?

    Depending on the state where you live, your IRA may be garnished by a number of creditors. Unlike 401(k) plans or other qualified ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Can my IRA be used for college tuition?

    You can use your IRA to pay for college tuition even before you reach retirement age. In fact, your retirement savings can ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Why are IRA, Roth IRAs and 401(k) contributions limited?

    Contributions to IRA, Roth IRA, 401(k) and other retirement savings plans are limited by the IRS to prevent the very wealthy ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How do you calculate penalties on an IRA or Roth IRA early withdrawal?

    With a few exceptions, early withdrawals from traditional or Roth IRAs generally incur a tax penalty equal to 10% of the ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Recession

    A significant decline in activity across the economy, lasting longer than a few months. It is visible in industrial production, ...
  2. Bubble Theory

    A school of thought that believes that the prices of assets can temporarily rise far above their true values and that these ...
  3. Stock Market Crash

    A rapid and often unanticipated drop in stock prices. A stock market crash can be the result of major catastrophic events, ...
  4. Financial Crisis

    A situation in which the value of financial institutions or assets drops rapidly. A financial crisis is often associated ...
  5. Election Period

    The period of time during which an investor who owns an extendable or retractable bond must indicate to the issuer whether ...
  6. Shanghai Stock Exchange

    The largest stock exchange in mainland China, the Shanghai Stock Exchange is a nonprofit organization run by the China Securities ...
Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!