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I work for a small company
Jun 8, 2008

Of course the reason I'm asking this question is that nobody knows that I'm hiv+.

I've worked for a small company with 5 employees for over 8 years. Insurance costs are going up and my employer is getting quotes from new insurance companies.

Today they put a form from a propective new insurance company on my desk and told me to fill it out. The form asks for name, social security number, and all diseases treated for and medicines that you take among other things.

It also says if you lie on the form, the treatment for any non-disclosed diseases won't be covered and that they can cancel the policy for the whole company.

I said I wasn't comfortable filling it out. The HR person had to leave at noon and didn't say anything, but I'm worried.

Can they force me to fill it out? Should I tell them I've gotta take a day off to see my lawyer? Please help! They are like family, but even some of my family doesn't know my status!

Response from Ms. Breuer

I suggest that you offer to send the form directly to the insurer, or offer to have your doc send the form directly to the insurer. They are not wise to violate your medical confidentiality this way, or anyone else's! Employers can be sued for knowing stuff they end up wishing they'd never known. Smart employers direct confidential health information to the only entity that ever needs it in this transaction: the insurer.

Be professional, be upfront, be confident. You know the prospective insurer needs the information, but you're a very private person and would be glad to arrange for the prospective insurer to receive it directly from you. (Yes, I'm scripting you.) You know they don't want to violate strict HIPAA rules that carry heavy fines for forcing employees to disclose medical information to non-medical personnel.



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