New HIPAA Regulations for Agents Went Into Effect Feb. 17, 2010

Passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the HITECH Act in 2009 extended HIPAA requirements — for the first time — beyond doctors, hospitals and health insurers to include service providers to the health care industry (such as insurance brokers and agencies). Enforcement of the new law began February 17, 2010. Infractions, depending on the severity, can result in fines ranging from $100 to $50,000 for each violation.

One of the major effects of the law will be the enforcement of HIPAA privacy standards on emails sent by agents that contain sensitive information (for example an application with your client’s social security number on it). In order to protect your clients’ information and stay in compliance with this new law, you will need to begin encrypting any email that contains information considered sensitive under HIPAA. Care Value has already begun encrypting our email through a secure email solution provider, Zix Corporation.

What Is Secure Email?

Secure email means that emails with sensitive information in them are not sent through “open” email channels. Instead the email goes to a secure email portal where the email recipient must log in using a username and password to view the email content. You may be receiving secure emails from Care Value right now.

How Can Agents Stay Compliant?

You can get secure email service from Zix Corporation and begin protecting yourself and your clients. Go to www.zixencryption.com for more information.

Note: Care Value is not charging for this service. It is purchased directly through Zix.