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Know Your State’s Law on Coverage
If you are in an insured plan, your State law may let you have
a longer break in coverage. If so, you may be able to count
creditable coverage even if it is followed by a break of 63 days
or more in a row. Your State also may require a shorter
exclusion period, or shorter look-back period. State law
requirements for pre-existing condition exclusions do not
affect those imposed by self-insured plans. For more
information contact your State insurance department.
Group health plans and health insurance issuers are required to
furnish you a certificate of creditable coverage. The certificate
describes how much creditable coverage you have and the date
the coverage ended. Most group health plans and insurance
issuers are required to issue certificates automatically shortly after
your coverage ends. You also can request a certificate describing
particular coverage at any time while the coverage is in effect and
within 24 months of the time the coverage ends. Finally, your
new health plan can simply call your old plan to inquire about
your creditable coverage. If the two plans agree, the plans can
exchange the information by telephone.
When you receive a certificate from a former employer, you
should make sure the information is accurate. Contact the plan
administrator of your former health plan or the health insurance
issuer if any of the information is wrong.
If you do not receive a certificate from your previous plan or
health insurance issuer, your new health plan must accept other
documentation that shows you had prior creditable coverage (see
Question and Answer on page 21).
Step 4: Understand Your Other Coverage Protections
Understanding how you can best protect your health coverage is
not easy. It is complicated because the rules are different
depending on your special situation. The fourth step in
understanding HIPAA and your protections under the law
involves knowing some general information about:
· Special enrollment rights to other group coverage;
· How your health status can affect your access to care;
Certificate of
Creditable Coverage
A certificate of
creditable coverage is a
document that
describes how much
creditable coverage you
have, and the date the
coverage ended.
Plan Administrator
The person responsible
for answering any
questions you may have
about your group health
plan. The materials that
describe the plan should
identify who your plan
administrator is.
10 Protecting Your Health Insurance Coverage
· Other coverage choices that may help you take
advantage of HIPAA protections; and
· Your rights to renew group and individual coverage.
Special Enrollment Rights to Other Group Coverage
Group health plans and health insurance issuers are required to
provide special enrollment periods during which individuals who
previously declined coverage for themselves and their dependents
may be allowed to enroll. Importantly, individuals will be able to
enroll without having to wait until the plan’s next open
enrollment period, but in most situations you must request a
special enrollment within 30 days.
A special enrollment period can occur if a person with other
health coverage loses that coverage or if a person becomes a new
dependent through marriage, birth, adoption or placement for
adoption. Special enrollment is NOT late enrollment, which can
trigger an 18-month pre-existing condition exclusion period. (See
HIPAA Question and Answer section on page 19 for more
information on special enrollment. Also see the discussion of
COBRA beginning on page 12).
How Your Health Status Can Affect Access to Care
If you are in a group health plan, you cannot be denied coverage
based on your health status. A group health plan cannot refuse to
enroll you just because of:
· Your health status;
· Physical or mental condition;
· Claims experience;
· Receipt of health care;
· Medical history;
· Genetic information;
· Evidence of insurability; or
· Disability.
But employers can establish limits or restrictions on benefits or
coverage for similarly situated individuals under a group health
plan, or charge a higher premium or contribution for similarly
situated individuals. In addition, employers may change your plan
benefits or covered services if they give you proper notification.
If you are no longer in a group health plan, and you meet the
requirements to be a HIPAA eligible individual, you cannot be
If you are in a group
health plan, you
cannot be denied
coverage based on
your health status.
Protecting Your Health Insurance Coverage 11
COBRA Continuation
Coverage that is offered
to you in order to satisfy
the requirements of the
Consolidated Omnibus
Budget Reconciliation
Act of 1985 (COBRA).
denied individual health coverage. However, the choices
available to you will depend on the approach your State has taken
to make health coverage available to you.
If you are not an eligible individual, State law rather than HIPAA
will determine whether you can be denied coverage. Depending
on your State’s laws, insurers and HMOs offering individual
health insurance may be able to deny coverage based on your
health status. Federal laws other than HIPAA and some State
laws may ensure that certain people who have lost group coverage
are guaranteed access to health coverage, at least temporarily,
regardless of their health status.
Other Coverage Choices That May Help You Take Advantage
of HIPAA Protections
Some key HIPAA protections help you avoid pre-existing
condition exclusions on your access to coverage. One Federal
law that may help you take advantage of those and other HIPAA
protections is the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation
Act of 1985 (COBRA).
COBRA continuation coverage gives employees and their
dependents who leave an employer’s group health plan the
opportunity to purchase and maintain the same group health
coverage for a period of time (generally, 18, 29 or 36 months)
under certain conditions. Workers in companies with 20 or more
employees generally qualify for COBRA. You may have this
right if you lose your job or have your working hours reduced.
You also may have this right if you are covered under your
spouse’s plan and your spouse dies or you get divorced. Children
who are born, adopted, or placed for adoption with the covered
employee while he or she is on COBRA also will be entitled to

The State of Maryland is home to many exciting, historic and state-of-the-art colleges and universities. There are more than 350,000 full time students working toward degrees in Maryland.

Maryland is the home of nationally acclaimed medical facilities, leading literary institutions, world-class arts and music schools, and technology-driven campuses. The schools in Maryland represent the very best in education. Maryland has so much more to offer than just great institutions of higher learning. When you visit the colleges and universities in Maryland, take some extra time to check out the rich history, majestic mountains, beautiful lakes and beaches, outstanding national and state parks, major league sports, cultural attractions and so much more Maryland has to offer.

The college years in Maryland are more than classes, clubs and sports within the confines of the individual campuses. You will take home many pleasant memories of the state of Maryland from your college years.

As you visit schools in Maryland, visit Maryland.

The Baltimore Hebrew University is the premier academic institution of higher learning in Maryland. It is a university devoted solely to all aspects of Judaic and Hebraic studies.

Mission of the Baltimore Hebrew University:

. To provide students with the broadest understanding of the civilization of the Jewish people through programs leading to the Master of Arts in Jewish Studies (MAJS), and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Jewish Studies;

. The Master of Arts in Jewish Education (MAJE)

. The Master of Arts in Jewish Communal Service (MAJCS)

These degree programs train professionals in all fields of Jewish communal service and offer courses for students choosing study for its own sake.

Baltimore Hebrew University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and the Maryland Higher Education Commission. Full and part time students are welcome at the Baltimore Hebrew University.

If you want to earn certification from the National Board of License for Jewish schools and certification through the Maryland State Department of Education, Baltimore Hebrew University has a partnership with Goucher College to help you. The partnership with Goucher allows students to earn a MAJE from Baltimore Hebrew University and a Maaster of Arts in Teaching (MAT) from Goucher. The Maryland teacher's certificate is reciprocally recognized by 38 other states.

Baltimore Hebrew University offers students the option of internal double degree programs in Jewish Education and Jewish Studies (MAJE/MAJS) and in Jewish Education and Jewish Communal Service (MAJE/MAJCS).

Students interested in the Master of Arts in Jewish Communal Service have the opportunity to pursue double master's degrees combining and MAJCS from BHU together with a Master of Social Work (MSW) from the University Of Maryland School Of Social Work, a Master of Arts in Public Policy (MPP) from the University of Maryland Baltimore County or (MPP) from Johns Hopkins University, or a Master of Science in Pastoral Counseling with Loyola College.

The Baltimore Hebrew University is one example of the excellence in academic higher learning in Maryland.

This article is FREE to publish with the resource box.

Written by: Connie Limon. Visit http://www.charmcitybaltimore.info for more information about living, working and vacationing in Baltimore, Maryland. Visit http://www.camelotarticles.com and submit your original articles for web site promotion.

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