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Health app asks about meds -- can they deny me?
Jul 25, 2000

I recently was offered and accepted a great position with a nonprofit agency that employs less than 50 people. While filling out a health insurance application, I noticed a question asking about medications I have taken for the past 12 months. Another asked about ongoing treatments or surgery. I answered both truthfully and know I am covered by HIPPA because of coverage through my former employer, but I wonder about two things: 1) can the insurance company penalize my new employer with higher premiums because of my coverage needs, and 2) I feel strange knowing that information is on a form accessible to some others in the office before it is forwarded to the insurance company. Any thoughts on these? Thank you -- you are easing lots of fears!

Response from Ms. Breuer

The premium rates for a small group are usually set for one year and are based on the prior year's experience. Therefore, I don't think that your responses would result in a rate increase. The information you provided is confidential and cannot be shared with anyone. If it was sent directly to the insurance company, no one at the company you are working for would have that information. And one more thing to consider - there are many illnesses that have very high costs, such as heart disease, diabetes, medical problems associated with premature birth, etc. There are probably others at the company with medical problems that also impact the premium.

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