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The Healthcare Alphabet Soup - "NO SOUP FOR YOU!"

Let's be serious, when it comes to healthcare in the workplace, there are just too many abbreviations to stay on top of them all. After reading this article whenever a healthcare related abbreviation is thrown at you, you can say "NO SOUP FOR YOU!" like your favorite Seinfeld episode as you will no longer need to play the healthcare alphabet soup game.

Healthcare Alphabet Soup

Health Benefits are confusing enough. With frequent federal and state changes and updates it can be difficult staying on top of the current abbreviations related to workplace healthcare benefits from hire to retire. It can feel like a good old fashioned game of alphabet soup. We break down the different types of healthcare benefit programs so you can say "NO SOUP FOR YOU" like your favorite Seinfeld episode next time someone references them.

What is COBRA? COBRA stands for Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985. In short, it is a federal law that ensures that employees can maintain Healthcare coverage that they might otherwise lose after something like resigning from a job or filing for unemployment. COBRA guarantees employees the right to keep their group health care coverage for up to 18 months after leaving their job. Unless they were fired for “gross misconduct,” it generally covers any employees who were terminated. While employees are guaranteed the option of continuing on with their previous health care coverage, they have to pay for it themselves. The employer does not have to subsidize any of the payments, so employees should understand that the cost can be expensive. In order to secure COBRA coverage, employees should contact their HR department and HR is required to take the necessary steps to offer COBRA coverage. If an employer elects to take COBRA coverage, the payments will be made through either your company or through their healthcare provider. Your HR Shield Advisor can offer assistance in setting up insurance plans and managing COBRA coverage. Contact us today for more information. What is HIPAA? You may have heard the term “HIPAA Compliant” but aren’t really sure what HIPAA is or what exactly that term means.

HIPAA is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, which is about health insurance and the importance of privacy when it comes to medical information online. Privacy laws tend to make businesses anxious because it creates anxiety about the dangers of non-compliance. But HIPAA just exists to make personal medical information more private and inaccessible online, which is ultimately a good thing.

So who has to comply with HIPAA standards? The Privacy Rule applies to anyone who is involved with these medical records to have certain administrative, physical and technical safeguards in place that meet the standards of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. If you work in the health care industry, you most likely need to adhere to HIPAA standards, particularly if you st