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FAQ 366 Is SSA a covered entity (e.g., a health plan)?

This is guidance related to the covered entity states of the Social Secuirty Administration under the HIPAA Privacy Rule


Issued by: Office for Civil Rights (OCR)

The Social Security Administration (SSA) collects medical records when making disability determinations for both title II (Disability Insurance) and title XVI (Supplemental Security Income, SSI) of the Social Security Act. Is SSA a covered entity (e.g., a health plan)?


The Social Security Administration (SSA) is not a covered entity. The collection of individually identifiable health information is not a factor in determining whether an entity is a covered entity. Covered entities are defined in HIPAA; they are

  1. health plans,
  2. health care clearinghouses, and
  3. health care providers that transmit any health information in electronic form in connection with a transaction covered in the HIPAA Transactions Rule.

SSA meets none of these criteria as defined at 45 CFR 160.103 (GPO).

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