By:  LINDSEY O'NEILL, ESQ.

A variety of laws are in place to protect your rights to health care.  Here are a few examples:

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act - Offers protection for individuals enrolled in retirement, health, and other benefit plans sponsored by private-sector employers, provides rights to information, and a grievance and appeals process for participants to get benefits from their plans.

The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act - Contains provisions giving certain former employees, retirees, spouses, and dependent children the right to purchase temporary continuation of group health plan coverage at group rates in specific instances.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act - Includes protections for millions of working Americans and their families who have preexisting medical conditions, prohibits discrimination in health care coverage, and guarantees issuance of individual policies for certain eligible individuals.

The Newborns' and Mothers' Health Protection Act - Provides rules on minimum coverage for hospital lengths of stay following childbirth.

Mental Health Parity Act - Requires that annual or lifetime dollar limits on mental health benefits be no lower than those dollar limits for medical and surgical benefits offered by a group health plan.

Women's Health and Cancer Rights Act - Offers protections for breast cancer patients who elect breast reconstruction in connection with a mastectomy.

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