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Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996

A federal law that affords rights and protections for participants and beneficiaries in group health plans. HIPAA includes: (1) protections for coverage under group health plans that would otherwise limit or exclude coverage for preexisting conditions; (2) prohibitions of discrimination against employees and dependents based on their health status; and (3) allowance of a special opportunity for employees to enroll in a new plan, under certain circumstances, known as "open enrollment."


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