What Is HIPAA?

HIPAA stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.  HIPAA provisions mandate the adoption of Federal privacy protections for individually identifiable health information. The Privacy Rule creates standards for protecting medical records and other personal health information.

The HIPAA Privacy Rule requires covered health care providers and organizations, including health plans, to provide individuals with a Notice of Privacy Practices. The notice describes the policies and procedures in place to protect the privacy of individuals' health information. The notice also explains certain individual rights granted by the law, adequate notice of the uses and disclosures of protected health information (PHI) and of the individual's rights.  PHI is protected health information created, received or transmitted by a health care provider or organization (including the UCC Medical and Dental Benefits Plan) that includes individually identifiable information about a patient's health condition, history of care or payment for care.

What Does the HIPAA Privacy Rule Mean for the Pension Boards?

The UCC Medical and Dental Benefits Plan, administered by the Pension Boards, is a covered entity under the HIPAA Privacy Rule. This means that the Plan and - because they are our business associates as defined by HIPAA - our vendor partners are bound by the regulations. While we have had ongoing policies and procedures in place to ensure privacy, the Privacy Rule provides further direction (and requirements) for the Pension Boards. PBUCC has taken time and great care to develop internal policies and procedures that are compliant with HIPAA regulations and at the same time allow us to provide advocacy for Plan participants.

How Can I Get a Copy of the Notice of Privacy Practices?

CLICK HERE to download a copy of the Notice of Privacy Practices. Plan participants also may obtain additional copies by contacting the Pension Boards. New enrollees will receive the notice in their enrollment packets.

Can I Still Call the Pension Boards with Questions About My Claims and Benefits?

PBUCC's Health Team will continue to answer your questions about claims and benefits. They may ask you for additional information to verify your identification. This procedure will help to protect your privacy.

In some cases, we will discuss claims and benefits with a spouse, parent or other family member when the Plan identifies that person as your personal representative. The Pension Boards identifies a personal representative as a person who is legally designated, chosen by you, or determined by the Plan to be acting in your best interests.