Entities that are regulated by HIPAA

Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996, certain “individually identifiable health information” that covered entities have is protected. Usually, HIPAA enforces information privacy on the following:

  • Private and federal health insurance providers.
  • Health care providers, like hospitals, doctors, and most medical practitioners.
  • Any companies that receive workers’ medical information either digitally or on paper from another company regulated by HIPAA.
  • Business associates, like any third-party person or company that require access to workers’ medical information.

The protections to patients afforded by HIPAA is especially important when it comes to ERISA, as it provides employees and their covered family members from being denied health coverage due to pre-existing conditions. Unfortunately, as our team at the Hankey Law Office knows, many people in Indiana find themselves faced with ERISA-related issues. To get the legal help that you need when filing an ERISA claim, call (800) 520-3633.

Labor Department enforces ERISA

This week, two dozen employers across the country were accused of taking a total of $7 million of their employees’ retirement plan and health care plan by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration.  The U.S. Labor Department is protected under the ERISA, or the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, to conduct investigations into employers.

Investigators found that the employers were using the money that employees contributed to their retirement and health care accounts for their own purposes, rather than being distributed into their plans.  Secretary of the Department of Labor Hilda K. Solis stated, “Employees sacrificed wages to provide important benefits for themselves and their families.  These enforcement actions underscore the Labor Department’s commitment to ensure that these workers’ contributions are protected and available to pay future benefits”.

Contact the Indiana ERISA lawyers of Hankey Law Office P.C. at (800) 520-3633 if you or someone you know has been the victim of a violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

Coca-Cola sued for violating ERISA

An ERISA class action suit was filed against Coca-Cola last month for allegedly taking away its workers health and pension plans while on strike.  500 Coca-Cola employees went on strike after believing the company had violated their privacy by implementing employee surveillance.  In addition, they felt the company was guilty of intimidation and bad faith bargaining.  After the strike, Coca-Cola executives cancelled their health care plans in violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

The main grievance held against the company in cancelling their heath care plan is that employees had already paid their premium.  One employee stated, “My wife had a kidney transplant two years ago.  When Coke cancelled our health care, they cut off her anti-rejection medicine.  This shows me that Coke doesn’t care about its employees”.

If you or someone you know feels their ERISA rights have been violated, contact the Indiana ERISA lawyers of Hankey Law Office P.C. at (800) 520-3633 to learn more about your rights.

Can you lose your health insurance coverage when you change jobs?

When individuals change jobs, there are certain laws in place to protect their health insurance coverage for a certain period of time. One such law is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

HIPAA protects the health insurance coverage for workers and their families when the workers change or lose jobs. This means that they can retain their health insurance coverage for a certain period of time until they get another job or join another plan.

If you or anyone you know has questions about a HIPAA claim, contact the Indiana HIPAA lawyers of Hankey Law Office, at (800) 520-3633.