Employment Law/HIPAA laws

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Question
My husband recently retired.  My healthcare was thru his former employer.  In order to change my healthcare from his previous employer to the public employee system that I retired from, I was required to submit a letter of termination of the policy coverage.  The company handling the retirement process for my husband's company stated that they could not provide the letter until AFTER he retired.  They stated it was against HIPAA laws to provide it prior to his retirement date.

The public employee system, however, insisted that they needed the letter to process my application and begin the healthcare on the day after my other coverage ended.  Consequently, my healthcare will not start with them until a month after it ends with my husband's former employer.  

It's hard to understand how giving a letter to me with my own personal information could violate HIPAA laws.  Is this company correct in stating that they are not legally able to provide the letter until after his official retirement date?

Also, if I may ask another question - is there any recourse when you have been told that your hours are being cut from 32 to 30 due to Obamacare requirements that would entitle an employer to provide healthcare if they did not reduce the hours.

Thank you so much for your time and expertise!

Answer
It is not against HIPAA laws to send a letter of termination for insurance purposes.

There is no recourse for cutting hours. If you are working 30 hours you are still eligible for health insurance under the Obamacare it is anyone working 30 hours or more. They would have to cut your hours to 29 hours and have a policy that says the insurance covers anyone working 30 hours or more.

Shirley  

Employment Law

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Shirley McAllister, CPP, PHR

Expertise

I can answer questions about payroll laws and payroll tax laws and Human Resource laws and agencies. I can answer federal payroll and human resource law questions and most states; I do not have a knowledge of the local taxes for cities and counties within the state. If and when I can I will try and send you the website where you can reference the answer and where you can obtain more information as well as a contact number if needed for that particular agency. Some agencies I have worked with are IRS, Department of Labor (federal and state), Revenue Canada (and provincial governments), Inland Revenue, OSHA (0ccupational Safety and Health Administration); Social Security Administration and National Child Support as well as other agencies in Payroll and Human Resources. Some Laws I am particularly familiar with are FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act), ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act), FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act ) , QDRO's, QMCSO's, and other support orders and garnishments, USERRA (Uniformed Services Employment and Remployment Rights Act,PPA Act (Pension Protection Act of 2006, As well as most other employment type acts. I am also well versed in the Title V Civil Rights Act and the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).

Experience

30 years in Payroll and Human Resources

Organizations
SHRM (Society of Human Resources) APA (American Payroll Association) DOLEA (Department of Labor Employers Association) CPA (Canadian Payroll Association) NAPW (National Association of Professional Women) The Mentoring Network

Education/Credentials
PHR Certification in Human Resources CPP Certification in Payroll in U.S. Payroll Administrator and Payroll Supervisor certification in Canada

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