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changing jobs & ins. companies
Aug 23, 2004

Hi,

I'm about to change jobs and health insurance companies....I'm due for a physical and want to have and HIV test....if the test i positive can my new insurance company deny me coverage base on a "pre existing" clause...thank you

Response from Ms. Breuer

You have several questions rolled into one. Here's the drill:

If your new job offers a group health insurance plan, you're part of the group by joining the firm. No tests, and your coverage will be unbroken because of HIPAA. Get a HIPAA certificate of insurance from your present employer before leaving, and give it to your new employer when you sign on. That usually erases pre-existing condition exclusions.

Now the testing. Any HIV test you request from your health care provider becomes part of your medical record. Some insurers discriminate against people who ask for the test and test negative--simply because they asked for the test. This is not an issue for a group health plan, but it is an issue for life/health/disability insurance that you apply for privately.

So why would you have an HIV test on your medical records? Surely there's a way for you to get an anonymous test, unless you live in Alabama. (Note: that's a real reference, not a joke)

Call your local AIDS service center to ask about anonymous testing. That way you will be able to control the information. Okay? Privacy is hard-won these days. Don't give it away lightly.



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