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Short Term Disability and Insurance Disclosure
Jan 11, 2012

Hello -

Please help me in answering this question. I was recently diagnosed of HIV and was admitted to hospital for perianal abscess and I was advised 2-3 weeks of rest. I decided to go on Short Term disability, and I gave verbal authorization to the insurance company for disclosure of my medical records.

Will the insurance company tell my employer about my status? Also, can my employer ask the insurance company about my health information?

I fear I may lose my job if my employer finds out. Should I just revoke my authorization to disclose medical information to the insurance company (Cigna) and use up my vacation / go on leave of absence instead?

Please help.

Thanks, Sam

Response from Mr. Chambers

Sam, this can be scary but you do have some legal protection. First, you should talk to CIGNA about not having a written release. I don't know any medical provider that will release records "because the claimant told me I could get them." They all require written authorization. Ask for a written authorization you can sign, review it, and you will find the carrier can receive records, but is not authorized to give them to anyone else, except possibly a reinsurer; which will be stated in the release. The carrier has no legal right to tell the employer anything about the reason for medical claims, and the employer is headed for legal problems if they get such information.



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