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New job and Hiv+
Jun 1, 2001

I am about to start a new job with a large company. I did not state that I am Hiv+ and recieving medication. Can the insurance company reject me because I did not revealed my true medical condition? How about my employer, can the insurance company inquire as to how or why I was hired with this condition. I know the "law", but there is always a way around that law. Also, I was thinking of getting cobra for a few months and after probation get myself tested again. Can this work? That is can it look as if I am being treated for Hiv as a new patient?

Response from Mr. Berg

The Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA) prohibits your employer (or their insurance company) from discriminating against you due to your health status. They cannot deny you access to the group plan or terminate your coverage due to your HIV status. If you didn't have recent (less that a 63 day gap between the end of your old coverage and the start of the new plan) prior health coverage (COBRA counts), then they can impose up to a 12 month pre-existing exclusion period (ususally only for PPO plans). If you had recent coverage, then you can be given credit for it which can be used to reduce or eliminate the 12 month exclusion period. I really don't understand your proposed plan, because if you can get COBRA, then once you had 12 months of coverage, the new insurance would pay all your claims. But, I guess it's possible to create a new diagnosis date as long as there is no paper trail left to connect you to the original date. You can get information on HIPAA at www.hcfa.gov and www.dol.gov/dol/pwba



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