Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (helth in-SHOOR-ents por-tuh-BIH-lih-tee ... uh-KOWN-tuh-BIH-lih-tee ...)
A 1996 U.S. law that allows workers and their families to keep their health insurance when they change or lose their jobs. The privacy rule of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act protects the privacy of a person’s health information and keeps it from being misused. It gives people the right to receive and review their health records and to choose with whom their healthcare providers and health insurance companies share their information (including friends, family members, and caregivers). The law also includes standards for setting up and maintaining secure electronic health records. Also called HIPAA and Kassebaum Kennedy Act.