The Affordable Care Act required the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to establish a national health plan identifier (HPID) program under the HIPAA standard transactions rules. The resulting HHS rules generally require all HIPAA-covered entities, including self-insured plans with more than $5 million in annual claims, to obtain a HPID by November 5, 2014. Small self-insured health plans (i.e., those with annual claims of $5 million or less) will be required to obtain a HPID by November 5, 2015.

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In Euchner-USA, Inc. v. Hartford Cas. Ins. Co., No. 13-2021-cv, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 10797 (2d Cir. June 10, 2014), the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit found that an insurer must defend its insured in a case alleging ERISA violations because the facts alleged (as opposed to the embedded legal