A Code of Conduct is a reflection of an organization’s values. This paper will explain the business ethics that are practices in the Health Insurance industry by exploring what Midwest based, Fortune 500 Company; Assurant Health does to ensure good ethical business practices are being up held. Assurant Health is a leader in the individual medical health insurance market and is also a member of the S&P 500. The display of moral principles and behavior that Assurant Health asks from their employees are encouraged by various categorical imperatives. A Code of Conduct is a reflection of an organization’s values.
Assurant Health provides new employees the code of ethics in their employee orientation. Their employment is contingent on their signing the Code of Ethics which is then put in their personnel file. As a Code of Conduct is modified employees are required to read the revised document and sign it electronically to let the organization know that they will adhere to the revised document. Three of the moral principles that the company wants their employees to adhere to are: • Confidentiality – Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA )
• Honesty and Respect • Health and Safety Confidentiality in the workplace is important to employees, shareholders and most importantly the customer. Assurant Health is one of many companies that follow the guidelines of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Due to increasing incidents of unauthorized access and theft to consumer’s personal information, internal and external auditors as well as other industry groups were compelled to enforce rules and regulations to protect consumers’ personal information.
HIPAA which is a federal regulation that became effective April 2005 requires many companies to review the strength of their systems on how they create, receive, transmit or maintain health information. Assurant Health is subject to HIPAA, and meets the requirements of HIPAA to ensure client privacy and security. Assurant Health guarantees privacy and security by making sure that before any information about a customers’ policy or claim information is proved they are HIPAA verified.
When a policy holder is calling the company, they must verify three personal items such as their address, date of birth and their policy number. In the event an Assurant Health employee is calling a policy holder, only two items are required to be verified. In specific cases where the client refuses to verify their information or a family member is not authorized to give or received information, no information will be given and Assurant Health representative will provide the company’s direct number and hours of operation for the policy holder to call at their convenience.
Customers have the right to privacy in reference to their medical information just as they have the same right to privacy as it pertains to their personal information. In times where identity theft and fraud are so prevalent, such information could be used in a way that ultimately affects the policy holder negatively. It does not have to be intentional. One may view someone’s personal information just out of curiosity, but that same information could unknowingly fall into the hands of others whose intentions are not in favor of the customer.
Given the seriousness of medical confidentiality, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) were written to minimize breaches in privacy. It can be summed up with one general rule of thumb: You may review a patient’s medical records only if the information is essential to performing your job successfully. To those working in the Health Care industry this policy is a must when assuring the safety and security of customer information. In an effort to protect insured personal, information in each area of Assurant Health has limited access to a policy holder’s information.
For example: If a client wants a new ID card they can call Policy Holder Services(PHS), if that same client ask the PHS representatives for information on a claim they will not be granted access to such information. The customer would have to be transferred to the claims department to get information on a claim. Some clients find this to be a waste of time but this is one of the security measures that Assurant Health has put in place to protect the customers’ personal information. Failure to maintain and protect confidentiality concerning the customer, employee or company information may result in immediate termination.