How Long Do Health Insurance Companies Keep Records?

How Long Do Health Insurance Companies Keep Records?

How long do health insurance companies keep records? These records contain your medical information. Medical insurance companies cannot keep your records for longer than five years. Medical offices and hospitals must keep them for a longer period of time, usually five to 10 years. State laws govern how long a medical record must be kept. You can find out how long your medical treatment records should be kept by visiting your state’s Department of Health and Human Services website.

How Long Do Health Insurance Companies Keep Records? Requires From Law

A requirement for health insurance organizations to maintain patient records for at least five years follows a recent California law passed by the state legislature. In addition to federal regulations, states require organizations to have policies on record retention. In California, records must be kept for at least five years after the date of service, and ten years for minors. These guidelines also apply to records of occupationally exposed patients.

While HIPAA does not have any universal record retention requirements, it does include specific language relating to HIPAA-related record retention. The law was passed to protect health insurance coverage for individuals off work. It also defines the parties and documents involved. Most healthcare organizations use HIPAA as the primary document to develop their internal physician retention policy. However, the law requires organizations to comply with state and federal regulations on the preservation of patient records, which may be even more stringent.

Data retention policies should be tailored to the needs of specific healthcare organizations. For instance, hospitals must retain medical records for at least six years, while physician practices must follow state and federal laws. However, it’s important to note that these policies should not be considered ideal. In Florida, for example, physician practices must maintain patient records for five years. Further, organizations should have policies that address record retention for health insurance companies that provide patient care services.

How Long Do Health Insurance Companies Keep Records?

Requires Employers To Have Policies That Address Record Retention

Federal and state laws mandate that organizations maintain certain records related to employees and covered entities. In addition to employee health records, covered entities are required to maintain audit logs and accountings related to the disclosure of protected health information. Under HIPAA, employers must keep records for six years from the date of creation or last in effect. While federal requirements are the most common, there are also state-specific requirements.

To avoid violating federal law, employers should consider their own record retention policies. Some employers require all employees to have records related to the company they are currently working for, while others do not. Regardless of the reason, employers should ensure that these records are secure and compliant with HIPAA regulations. It is also important to consider whether state or local laws require employers to retain certain records longer.

Records related to self-insured health plans must be kept for at least six years. In other words, if an employee joins a plan in 2020, the records must be maintained until July 31, 2027. However, if the employee files an extension request, the employer must retain these records until the date the extension was filed. A more practical solution would be to keep these records for at least eight years.

Active records and inactive records

Other factors that influence the distinction between active and inactive records include physical file space, the amount of research done, and the availability of off-site storage. Because of limited file space, an organization may decide that records are active for one year from the discharge date. After a year, the record is moved to off-site storage or scanned to a DVD and declared inactive. Because the record has not yet met its full retention requirement, inactive does not imply that it can be destroyed.

In case, you need to file a claim to your insurance company for any purposes, you have to submit the personal medical records and may wonder that how long they will keep. As the legal rules, it depends on the conditions and rights reserved, but it’s not over 10 years for sure.


How far back can an insurance company go in order to obtain medical records? Medical records are typically kept for five to ten years after a patient’s most recent treatment, discharge, or death.

If you believe the information in your medical or billing record is incorrect, you can request a change, also known as an amendment. Your request must be responded to by the health care provider or health plan. If it created the information, it must correct any errors or omissions.

Your record is only accessible to registered clinicians who are providing you with health care. Employer-paid doctors and life insurance companies are not permitted to access your My Health Record for this purpose.

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