Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Final Rule Issued on HIPAA Privacy and Security Protections

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 is a broad federal law regarding health coverage. It contains provisions related to administrative simplification, including:
  • privacy and security of personally identifiable health information (privacy and security rules);
  • enforcement of HIPAA requirements, including investigations, hearings, and penalties for violations (enforcement rule); and
  • reporting requirements for breaches of unsecured protected health information (breach notification rule).

DOL Releases Final FMLA Regulations

On February 6, 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) marked the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) by releasing a set of final FMLA regulations. The final regulations, which become effective on March 8, 2013, implement two statutory expansions of FMLA leave protections. According to DOL:
  • The first expansion provides families of eligible veterans with the same job-protected FMLA leave currently available to families of military service members, and it enables more military families to take leave for activities that arise when a service member is deployed. 
  • The second expansion modifies existing rules so that airline personnel and flight crews are better able to make use of FMLA protections. 

Exchange Notice Requirements Delayed

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires employers to provide all new hires and current employees with a written notice about ACA’s Health Insurance Exchanges, effective March 1, 2013.

On January 24, 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced that employers will not be held to the March 1, 2013 deadline. They will not have to comply until final regulations are issued and a final effective date is specified.

This HANYS Benefit Services Legislative Brief details the expected timeline for the Exchange notice requirements.