HIPAA Compliance and Insurance Agents

This week I wanted to focus on HIPAA compliance. And while this may seem to be a boring subject for most people, it is an important topic to know about. What a lot of people don’t realize or understand about HIPAA coverage, is that doctors and hospitals are required to keep their personal information.

This information is kept private, in that they can’t share it with other people. This is true for insurance agents as well. A lot of people do not know, that whatever you tell me is confidential. I need some of your personal information to help make sure you get the right coverage. You may feel that this is your personal information, and is it necessary for your insurance agent to know? But I can tell you that there are a few reasons why it is beneficial for your insurance agent to know the personal details relating to your medical needs. These reasons usually relate to accessing the most suitable plan for you, ensuring you are not affected by pre-existing conditions or underwriting factors, as well as avoiding insurance fraud.

Here is an example that happened recently – a woman called me enquiring about healthcare coverage for her husband. When I was asking her the details about medications, medical history, and doctors, she said that her husband did not want her sharing this information with me. Her husband had been hospitalized and had thought that he didn’t need to tell me as he didn’t want this hospitalization to affect his rate/coverage. The two problems that arise from this situation are that he may have ended up on the wrong plan by not disclosing all relevant information and that insurance fraud can occur if all information is not disclosed. If the insurance company asks particular questions, as the agent, I do have to answer those, and I need to ensure I have the information available to me in order to answer correctly. In some instances, it doesn’t make sense to be answering all these questions, but depending on the type of coverage you’re applying for, the questions are necessary.

It is very important to know that HIPAA compliance is a big deal. As your insurance agent, I only collect the information that I need to run a quote. If we do move forward with coverage, then yes, I do need a lot of other personal information. The websites I use are very safe, and I take responsibility for my client’s private information seriously.  I think that’s very important to know that you can be completely honest with me about your healthcare needs and that this information won’t end up on Facebook the following week 😊

If you have any Health Insurance related questions please feel free to reach out to me, I look forward to chatting with you.

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