Sep 24, 2002
I've been HIV positive for six years and just switched jobs in August to a new job with a much smaller firm about 20-30 employees. When signing up for my new employers health insurance, the insurance company asked for a copy of the health insurance card from the former employer -- which I provided-- and today asked me to call the insurance company and ask them for a HIPAA certificate which I'm to mail my new employers insurance company. Any ideas what this might be all about? I'm currently covered by my old employers plan until the end of the month.
| Response from Ms. Franzoi
A HIPAA certificate is a certificate that every employer is required by law to provide to an employee when he leaves the company. The HIPAA certificate states the period of time that the employee was covered under the employer's health plan. The reason your new employer is asking for a HIPAA certificate is because the new plan you are covered under probably has a pre-existing condition clause. And if it does, the employer is required to recognize prior periods of coverage towards that pre-exsiting condition period unless you went more than 63 days without coveragre. What this means for you is that any period of coverage you had under your prior employer's plan will count towards the pre-existing condition period under your new employer's plan. It is important for you to obtain this certificate and provide it to your new employer. The only information it will contain is the period of time that you were covered under your prior employer's health plan.
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