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Are employers covered by HIPAA
Jul 2, 2007

Hi,

I am employed by a large educational institution.

I am going on vacation this summer for 6 weeks.

My self and my son's 3-month supply medications will run out about 2 weeks after we have left for vacation

We therefore requested an override to enable have adequate supply during the vacation.

The insurance company indicated that my employer restricts such overrides. To clear it, they need authorization from my Employer's Benefits Centre (which is a 3rd party sub-contractor, outside the premises of the educational institution).

I called our Benefit centre, and to my horror, they are demanding that I give them the names of my medication and the amount i needed.

I refused to disclose this because I am not sure they have a right to such personal medical information pertaining to me and my family.

Are employers bound by HIPAA? How about their sub-contractees (who handle benefits policies)?

I am curious, as I am really appalled by their demand.

Thanks very much..

JK

Response from Ms. Franzoi

They are within their legal rights to do this for administration of the plan. However, they cannot disclose this information to anyone else or for any other purposes.



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