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Why Insurance Agents Need to Be HIPAA Compliant

The world of HIPAA compliance is often confusing and complex. It can be hard to tell what exactly the standards and requirements are and to whom they apply. Whether you’re an insurance agent or do business with one, you might wonder, “Do insurance agents need to be HIPAA compliant?” Today, we’re hoping to clear things up.

Health insurance agents are responsible for a considerable amount of client data. Whether this is being discussed over the phone, over email, or through some other form of communication, there is plenty of sensitive data on the line. The safety of this data should be of utmost concern to insurance agents and should be kept secure at rest, in storage, and in transit. 

Insurance agents are required to comply with the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules. Agents and brokers are considered Business Associates under HIPAA. They support two different groups, and have to make sure they are compliant for both parties. 

The first group they serve is health insurance carriers. A health insurance carrier is a Covered Entity, and the insurance agent is the intermediary for their employer groups and individual and Medicare clients. This position requires them to be HIPAA compliant to serve the needs of the carriers and their clients.

The next group they may serve is employer groups with a covered health plan. A covered health plan is considered a Covered Entity, and agents must be careful to protect the information they receive serving this plan. They may also be called on to help deal with claims issues, and interface with the carrier on behalf of the health plan.

However, things are not always as straightforward as they seem, so if you are an insurance agent, it is always wise to periodically evaluate your relationships with plan sponsors and insurers for whom you provide services. If client information is not kept secure, you leave yourself at risk for data breaches, fines, loss of client business, and the reputation you’ve worked so hard to build. Don’t take unnecessary risks — become HIPAA compliant to ensure the safety and welfare of your clients and your organization.

How Do I Make Sure My Business Is HIPAA Compliant?

HIPAA compliance requires conducting annual training, performing a risk assessment each year, and keeping detailed documentation of your policies and procedures. At Total HIPAA, our HIPAA Prime™ program does all this and more! We create customized compliance documents and provide your staff with easy online training, ensuring compliance for your business.

Want to know more about how you can become HIPAA compliant?
Email us at info@totalhipaa.com to learn more about how we can help your organization become (and stay!) HIPAA compliant. Or, get started here.

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