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Clean Up Your Act

Does your health insurance fill the bill?

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This story appears in the May 1998 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

When the Portability and AccountabilityAct of 1996 () went into effect last year, its impact on mostsmall businesses (those with fewer than 50 employees) wasminimal. The reason, according to R. Lucia Riddle, vice presidentof insurance company The Principal Financial Group in DesMoines, , is that most states had already implementedlegislation reforming the small group health insurance market. Butif your isn't covered by state legislation, you'renow guaranteed access to health insurance coverage for youremployees.

However, under the HIPAA, that offer healthinsurance as a benefit are required to provide specific, writtennotification of rights and benefits to new hires and departingemployees. Riddle suggests asking your forassistance to be sure you're providing the proper information.Also, be alert for requirements that may arise in the future,because not all the regulations for the HIPAA have been establishedyet.

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