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Give your health plan a discrimination checkup

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in Employee Benefits Program,Human Resources

If you have a group health plan, now's a good time to make sure it doesn't discriminate against any worker. Reason: New federal nondiscrimination rules are set to take effect with group plan years starting on or after July 1.

Some nondiscrimination provisions under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 took hold three years ago. But new guidance issued early this year changes the rules at the end of this month. Here's a snapshot:

Don't consider health status

Your health plan can't deny eligibility or charge a higher premium based on an employee's health status or even on his participation in activities like motorcycling, snowmobiling, horseback riding, skiing or riding all-terrain vehicles.

The plan can, however, deny coverage for injuries that result from high-risk activities such as bungee jumping. But if a medical condition or domestic violence is the cause of an injury, ...(register to read more)

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