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I Work for Insurance Company
Oct 5, 2001

I work for a large insurance company int the underwriting department. We are going to start administering our own insurance plan. As I work in the Underwriting department at least 4 or 5 of my co-workers are going to know of my status, as monitoring large claims is part of the Underwriting job. I find this very distressing and do not know what I should do. Although the UWs would get fired for discussing confidential issues with others, 5 people are still going to know about this.

Response from Ms. Breuer

You have every reason to be concerned about disclosure to co-workers. I recommend that you approach your supervisor right away to ask what plans are in place to protect the confidentiality of people who work for your insurance company. It's very dangerous and foolish for people who work for a company to have access to medical or salary records on others who work there. If your supervisor does not give you a satisfactory answer, go to an officer of the company. You probably are not the only person who is concerned about confidentiality, or who could be harmed by a co-worker "snooping" in the records. If you don't get a satisfactory answer from the officer of the company, please approach an attorney. This is an excellent question, and I hope you will write back to let me know the outcome. Sometimes seemingly harmless plans like this can backfire for the employer, into a lawsuit. I salute you for addressing it now, before it creates a serious problem.


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