In compliance with federal law (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, or HIPAA), participants in group health plans, such as the medical plan options, are entitled to receive a Certificate of Creditable Coverage. This certificate is provided to participants automatically when coverage under group health plans ends. The certificate shows the length of the most recent period of a participant’s coverage under the group health plan. This is the period of a participant’s “creditable coverage.” An individual may present this certificate to a new employer in order to reduce or eliminate the length of time that any pre-existing condition provision in a new health plan might apply to the individual. If an individual has not experienced a gap in health insurance coverage of 63 days or more, any pre-existing condition exclusion periods in the new health plan must generally be reduced by the number of days of creditable coverage.
Group health plan participants (or their dependents) may also receive a certificate if they request it within two years after the date that group health plan coverage ends. Individuals are not entitled to receive a Certificate of Creditable Coverage for certain types of coverage, including certain types of dental coverage. The Plan Administrator can provide more information on the certificate and how to obtain one.