Several years ago the U.S. government passed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This bill made it possible, among other things, for people coming off of group insurance to be able to get individual health insurance. Previously, if a diabetic lost his/her job and then tried to get individual health insurance, they would have been declined. Now, if they have proof of having been insured on a group policy, they cannot be denied coverage on an individual plan. The ?proof? they need to provide is called a ?Certificate of Insurance? or a ?Certificate of Creditable Coverage.? The company that had previously provided them with group insurance will provide them with a certificate stating how long they have been on group insurance. If there is not a gap of more than 63 days between the date they dropped the group insurance and take out the new insurance, they will automatically be accepted for coverage on the HIPAA plan offered by the insurance company. Providing a ?Certificate of Insurance? also enables an enrollee in a group plan to avoid a 12-month waiting period before pre-existing conditions are covered.
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