Protected health information (PHI) is information created, received, or transmitted by a group health plan, including the ELCA Health Benefits Plan that includes individually identifiable information about:

  • A patient’s health condition or history
  • Care for that condition
  • Payment for that care

PHI is protected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. Among other things, HIPAA provisions mandated the adoption of federal privacy and security protections for individually identifiable health information. The Privacy Rule provides the first comprehensive standards for covered entities (health plans, health care clearinghouses, and health care providers) that protect medical records and other personal health information. The privacy rule:

  • Gives patients control over their own health information
  • Sets boundaries on the release and use of health records
  • Establishes appropriate safeguards for providers and health plans to ensure protection of the privacy or health information
  • Holds violators of patient privacy rights accountable
  • Allows disclosure for the public good

HIPAA requires Portico to:

  • Create and send to all members a Notice of Privacy Practices that notifies members of their privacy rights and how their health information can be used by the health plan. Members can download the Notice of Privacy Practices PDF or request a copy by contacting our health care department at 800.352.2876.
  • Adopt and implement privacy and security policies and procedures
  • Provide training for employees so they understand the privacy and security procedures
  • Designate an individual to be responsible for ensuring that Portico’s privacy and security procedures are created, adopted, and followed
  • Provide security for individually identifiable health information so that only those with a need to know and use the information have access
  • Obtain agreement regarding the HIPAA compliance of our vendor partners
  • Amend the plan document to include privacy and security provisions

We reserve the right to modify this Notice of Privacy Practices from time to time without notice. The most up-to-date version will be posted on the website and is available in print upon request. If you have questions or concerns about this privacy notice, please contact us at 800.352.2876 or mail@PorticoBenefits.org.