HIPAA Regulation of Online Tracking Technologies

In a December 2022 bulletin published by the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), HHS made clear that the use of third-party tracking technologies by covered entities and business associates is subject to HIPAA privacy and security rules. The use of tracking technologies developed by third-party vendors is increasingly common, and much of the LTCi industry is subject to HIPAA privacy and security rules as either covered entities or business associates. HHS noted in the bulletin that covered entities and business associates “are not permitted to use tracking technologies in a manner that would result in impermissible disclosures of [protected health information (“PHI”)] to tracking technology vendors or any other violations of the HIPAA Rules.” And, as applied to the use of tracking technologies, HHS’s view of what constitutes PHI may be broader than expected.

What Are Tracking Technologies?

Tracking technologies (including cookies, pixels, and other similar technologies) collect information about individuals who interact with an entity’s website or mobile application (“mobile app”). Businesses use a variety of tracking technologies on websites and mobile apps to improve functionality and learn more about users’ activities. Tracking technologies developed by third parties generally involve the sharing of data back to that third party, so when a HIPAA-covered entity or business associate uses these tracking technologies, they must be cognizant of what data is being shared, to who, and for what purpose.

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Faegre Drinker Long-Term Care Summit V Recap

Faegre Drinker held its fifth Long-Term Care Insurance Summit in Chicago this fall. The event kicked off on October 18 with an informal, fun, and engaging social get-together, while the overall format for the interactive meeting was selective, informative, and fast-moving. Carrol Golden, Executive Director of the Specialty Centers at the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA), shares a recap of the event.

The first day, Faegre Drinker Partner Steve Serfass shared welcome remarks and introduced Peter Lucas, CEO of Davies, and John Sieb, Business Head and COO – Long Term Care at Prudential and invited them to share their views about the most significant issues and opportunities facing the LTCi community today. Peter urged that while embracing new concepts and insights, the industry should not lose focus on the basics of good policy and claim administration, and he also addressed the importance of creating attractive career paths and opportunities for young and mid-level professionals while mentoring them to become the next generation of leaders. As he discussed the importance of proactive block management, John stressed three strategic pillars: data and analytics, digital TP and claims management.

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Election Night for Insurance Geeks: November 2022

Election outcomes affect every industry. Insurance, however, is unique in the range of elected policymakers who can impact it directly — insurance commissioners, governors and Congress (not to mention state legislatures and other statewide officials). So as insurance stakeholders settle in the night of November 8 with popcorn and other traditional fare, what are our “ones to watch?”

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Artificial Intelligence Briefing: FTC to Address Commercial Surveillance and Data Security

From time to time, colleagues in our larger Insurance practice, along with other non-insurance-related practices, write on issues that we feel are important enough to highlight on this blog. Emerging attention to Artificial Intelligence (AI) by lawmakers and regulators alike is one such issue. Among the topics highlighted in Faegre Drinker’s latest Artificial Intelligence Briefing is the Collaboration Forum on Algorithmic Bias held during NAIC’s Summer Annual meeting that featured various presentations, including one from our own Scott Kosnoff on how companies can mitigate their regulatory, litigation and reputation risk through AI risk management and governance.

Highlights from the LTCi EX Task Force Meeting at NAIC

We want to bring you some highlights from the in-person LTCi EX Task Force meeting we attended August 12 during NAIC’s Summer National Meeting in Portland.  The Commissioners principally discussed the next steps in the rollout of the Multistate Actuarial (MSA) Framework and the results of a survey of financial advisors to help the Task Force understand how policyholders are considering rate increase communications and the accompanying reduced benefit options that the rate increase communications include.

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Senate Finance Committee Advances EARN Act in Effort to Expand Retirement

On Wednesday, June 22, the Senate Finance Committee advanced the Enhancing American Retirement Now (EARN) Act, including an amendment containing retiring Sen. Pat Toomey’s Long-Term Care Affordability Act. The Amendment would allow people to use up to $2,000 per year in 401(k) assets to pay for their LTCi premiums. The Amendment aims to promote a more viable LTCi marketplace by increasing participation, as the use of 401(k) funds would expand the asset pool available to pay premiums. The bill would apply to “eligible retirement plans,” defined as a qualified retirement plan that is a defined contribution plan, a section 403(a) annuity plan, a section 403(b) plan, a governmental section 457(b) plan, or an IRA. The qualifying coverage may be for the individual or the individual’s spouse or dependent. Distributions for the purpose of LTCi premiums would be exempt from the additional 10% tax on the amount of the distribution.

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2022 ILTCI Conference

Faegre Drinker is proud to sponsor The Intercompany Long-Term Care Insurance Conference to be held March 20-23 at the Raleigh Convention Center. The conference is the largest multidisciplinary long-term care conference in the U.S. and will include dozens of educational sessions featuring industry thought leaders and LTCI community insiders.

Here is a brief look at the panels that will include members of our Team, with topics ranging from litigation, to aging in place, to rate increase innovations:

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Louisiana Secures Temporary Injunction in Connection with the SHIP Rehabilitation Plan

Senior Health Insurance Company of Pennsylvania (“SHIP”) was placed in rehabilitation in Pennsylvania in January 2020.  On August 24, 2021, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania approved the Rehabilitation Plan (the “Plan”), which includes a nationwide premium increase and several benefit modification options that will be presented to policyholders to avoid or mitigate the rate increase.  The Plan includes an opt-out for state regulators who elect to review the proposed rate increase, but if an opt-out state does not approve the full rate increase the options available to policyholders of policies issued in that state would not include an option for the policyholder to retain the full benefit amounts set forth in their policy.  Because of the novel strategy to pursue a rate increase/benefit modification through the rehabilitation court, the Plan has proven to be controversial.  For example, the chief insurance regulators in Massachusetts, Maine and Washington have filed an appeal in the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania to challenge and block the Plan (and a group of 27 other state insurance regulators filed an amicus brief in support of this challenge). The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently denied an application for a stay of the approval of the Plan while the appeal is pending.

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