On this day (Aug. 21) in 1996, President Bill Clinton signed into law the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which as its title implies protects people with pre-existing conditions when they change jobs and need new health insurance.
From that date until Obamacare took over in 2014, if you left one company with a pre-existing condition, you had to obtain a Certificate of Creditable Coverage from your last employer to prove that your condition had been medically covered. After that, you had 63 days to obtain new insurance, either on your own or through an employer’s policy.
Since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) now makes it illegal to exclude coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, that part of HIPAA has become null and void.
What survives are the Privacy, Security and Breach rules of HIPAA that offer protections for individuals not to have their medical history or illness details released without their permission. (Technically, such medical data can be shared freely among industry entities, but what can’t be shared are one’s name, address, Social Security number and the like. The data have to be “deidentified.”)