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What is the Health Insurance Portability Act?
The Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act makes it easier for you to change jobs without losing health insurance coverage. The law encourages you to maintain continuous insurance coverage. Key provisions include: employees with 12 months of continuous coverage under an employer, union, or group medical plan are not subject to a preexisting condition exclusion period. Pre-existing conditions must be covered under this plan. Employers can continue a waiting period before employees are eligible to enroll in the plan. Other provisions are: sick employees cannot be dropped from a group plan or charged higher premiums. Pregnancy can no longer be deemed a preexisting condition. To take advantage of the new law, you must not go without group benefits for more than 63 days.
Sandra McKinnon, Consumer & Family Economics Specialist, University of Missouri Extension
Cynthia E. Crawford, Ph.D., Consumer & Family Economics Specialist, University of Missouri Extension
Last update: Monday, July 28, 2008