Nov 13, 2010
I am currently a temporary worker in a human resources department at an company with about 100 employees. The company is going out for bid for group coverage for 2011. The two new potential insurance company's requested a list of all current employees, their names, conditions and medications. I was under the impression that the current insurance company forwarded this information directly to the new insurance company so a lucrative quote can be submitted to the employer. However, that is not what happened. The existing insurance company in an envelope marked confidential and addressed to the HR director's attention had all the above information in it. I was asked ( by my manager ) to forwarded this information to the new insurance company's and told not to read it as it was personal medical information of their employees. I did not read it and forwarded to all the companies that were listed. Are insurance company's legally allowed to do this? I thought conditions/medications were private and were not allowed to be given to employers? I am hoping that this was an honest mistake and not actually legal as this could cause problems. Are you familiar with such a bizarre practice? I am worried because of my own situation. Thankfully, I am on another policy through my partner who works for a large company.
Thanks and great website.
Response from Ms. Franzoi
Anyone in HR is bound by confidentiality laws. Therefore, they cannot use the information in any health-related information they receive in any way that impacts the employee's employment.
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