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March 2010Vol. 11, No. 2HIPAA Closes the Insurance Gap for Adoptive Families

As a result of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), health insurance coverage is now available to cover adopted children for all families enrolled in group health plans. An article in the National Council for Adoption's Adoption Advocate explains the history of health insurance coverage for adopted children and the benefits provided by HIPAA.

The situation may be different for families covered by non-employer-sponsored health insurance plans (individual plans), because such plans are regulated by State rather than Federal regulation. However, many States have their own laws prohibiting health insurance discrimination.

The article advises parents of adopted children to apply for health insurance within 30 days of the adoption or placement for adoption to ensure eligibility for HIPAA protection.

Resources for State-specific and other information are also included. The article, "Health Insurance for Adopted Children," by Mark McDermott with Elisa Rosman, is available on the NCFA website: (336 KB)