Jun 1, 2001
One year after being transferred abroad by my employer I tested positive for HIV and am now on treatment. Since I left the US, I no longer have US health insurance. I am covered under the country's free medical coverage and an ex-pat policy that specifically excludes HIV. My question: When I return to the states do I have to disclose that I am HIV+ and is there anyway I can re-enroll in my US employer plan even though I am not there? (We have the same health care insurer as we did when I left and I was positive and did not know it.) Thanks for your valuable advice/service.
| Response from Mr. Berg
I a bit confused by your question. If you are being transferred back to your employer's US office, the federal Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA) prohibits employers from denying you access to their group health plan due to your health status. If you are leaving your job and returning to the US, you may still have temporary access to the US plan through your COBRA health coverage continuation rights. You can get more information on COBRA and HIPAA at www.dol.gov/dol/pwba, additional HIPAA information at www.hcfa.gov
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