Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)

  1. mandated creation of rules for the protection and security of consumers' medical records and health information provided to and by “covered entities,” including health plans, hospitals, and health care providers. The “Privacy Rule” protects the privacy of health information; the “Security Rule” sets standards for the security of health information in electronic form. The Act also contains provisions protecting continuity of health coverage by allowing workers to transfer health insurance coverage upon a change or loss of employment and limiting health-plan exclusions for preexisting conditions.