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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As the 2013 open enrollment season approaches, group health plan sponsors are trying to hold down health care costs.  Implementing a wellness program may be part of that effort.  The difficulty lies in designing a program that promotes wellness without running afoul of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

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