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What is HIPAA?

 

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was passed about fifteen years ago to ensure that people’s health care information remains private.  It prevents health care providers from releasing your private information to unauthorized individuals. However, one unfortunate consequence of this law is that oftentimes loved ones are unable to obtain necessary information when an emergency arises.  A proper estate plan will incorporate a HIPAA-compliant release of information that allows key individuals to speak with health care providers.  There are no requirements regarding who can be named in an authorization and that decision should be made according to your individual circumstances.