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Using health insurance for HIV at work
May 26, 1997

I am HIV positive but have told no one at work. If I begin seeing an infectious disease specialist could anyone in the employee benefits' office find out the particulars of my situation???

Response from Ms. Franzoi

An insurance company cannot legally share that information with the employer. However, it is important to know whether the plan is insured or self-insured. In an insured plan, the insurer would not share this with the employer. Under a self -insured arrangement, it might be possible for the Group Insurance Department to find out information with respect to an individual's illness through reports provided to them, such as utilization review reports. However, most of the reports provided to an employer by the administrator in a self-insured arrangement are total dollars spent on claims by inpatient vs. outpatient treatment, by diagnosis, by type of service including dollars spent on prescriptions, total dollars spent per covered employee or dependent for claims in excess of a certain dollar amount but without any diagnosis, etc. The simple answer is, legally, no. The practical answer is, it is possible.

- Lynn Franzoi

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