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Author Topic: Can an insurance company notify your employer of your HIV status  (Read 7604 times)

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Offline buginme2

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If you have private insurance through your employer, can the insurance company notify the employer of your HIV status?  I am sure this violates HIPPA laws if notified directly.   However, can your employer find out indirectly?  Say due to the types of tests that have been ordered for you or the medication you are on?
Don't be fancy, just get dancey

Offline skeebo1969

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Re: Can an insurance company notify your employer of your HIV status
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2011, 02:40:31 PM »
If you have private insurance through your employer, can the insurance company notify the employer of your HIV status?  I am sure this violates HIPPA laws if notified directly.   However, can your employer find out indirectly?  Say due to the types of tests that have been ordered for you or the medication you are on?

If the people in HR were some nosey losers with nothing better to do they could  probably figure it out.  It's not something I would lose sleep over though, cross them kind of bridges only when you're provoked to do so.  I will admit though, I did have the same concerns when I was diagnosed.

People at work whispering behind my back, dead rats on my car, you know the routine.  It never came about.  

And my status did come out at work.  The HR department needed to get me some time off due to health reasons and couldn't figure out a way to do it under the companies firing procedures.  I had missed  two weeks straight and they didn't want to let me go.  I told the HR manager I was HIV pos and she was able to use some loophole, along with a harsh letter quoting the American Disabilities Act to keep me on.  

Now when I am sick I report either to her or someone in her department.  I also was given a direct number to our headquarters in New York, which is to be used in the event our HR staff is off premises and I need to call out.  They've covered my butt and theirs as well....  would be cool if this was common practice everywhere.

Happily I have to give them two weeks notice soon..... I may call out sick and then give it to them.  I am about to pursue a career in nursing of all places and I wanna work in hospice. :)
I despise the song Love is in the Air, you should too.

Offline buginme2

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Re: Can an insurance company notify your employer of your HIV status
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2011, 02:46:23 PM »
Good for you wanting to work as a nurse in hospice.  Not sure where u are at but there is a great AIDS hospice in Seattle.  Its called the Bailey Boushay House.  Just for your info.  Peace out.
Don't be fancy, just get dancey

Offline richie

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Re: Can an insurance company notify your employer of your HIV status
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2011, 10:04:52 PM »
If you have private insurance through your employer, can the insurance company notify the employer of your HIV status?  I am sure this violates HIPPA laws if notified directly.   However, can your employer find out indirectly?  Say due to the types of tests that have been ordered for you or the medication you are on?

Answer -- no.  If they did, you'd be an instant millionaire.  It's against the law to disclose someone else's status.  If you work for a really really small employer (<20 employees), they might get suspicious due to suddenly increased rates, but aren't all rates increasing?  Employers only see broad statistics about their healthcare performance, not individual stats.  Could they figure it out?  Doubtful.  If they did and tried to "action it", you're protected under both HIPAA and Disabilities Act.  I worked in the actuarial field, and saw the claims data supplied to employer.  So relax. 

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Can an insurance company notify your employer of your HIV status
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2011, 10:20:14 PM »
The short and legal answer is No. The real answer for small businesses (where the owner's wife and/or daughter of often the office manager) the answer is yes, they can see the spike in insurance claims and trace them to an employee. And yes,  I have had many friends who have had exemplary work records, but when they start meds, suddenly their evaluations nosedive and/or they are "downsized."

It is illegal, unethical, and astonishingly hard to prove. I think it should be a better situation in the healthcare field, but this forum has seen dozens and dozens of folks who have found themselves adrift.

One way to be proactive is to keep a paper trail. Employee evaluations, insurance claims, everything work-related so that if something untoward happens, dots can be connected and a real case can be made.

You are absolutely protected under HIPPA and the Disabilities Act.  But fighting an illegal termination takes time and money, something a lot of us do not have.

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline OneTampa

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Re: Can an insurance company notify your employer of your HIV status
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2011, 08:31:52 PM »
Thanks everyone for the invaluable information in this thread.
"He is my oldest child. The shy and retiring one over there with the Haitian headdress serving pescaíto frito."

Offline metekrop

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Re: Can an insurance company notify your employer of your HIV status
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2011, 12:39:28 PM »
If you have private insurance through your employer, can the insurance company notify the employer of your HIV status?  I am sure this violates HIPPA laws if notified directly.   However, can your employer find out indirectly?  Say due to the types of tests that have been ordered for you or the medication you are on?

Why for? ::)  There is no way that my employer come accross of any medical treatment I am really having.  I was in hospital for about five months due to illness in HIV.  Any nobody know about my disease during all these months.  I am living my life just like anybody else in the office.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2011, 03:12:52 PM by metekrop »
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Offline OneTampa

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Re: Can an insurance company notify your employer of your HIV status
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2011, 10:59:38 PM »
Has anyone ever heard of a HIPPA Release Form?  Employees recently received notice stating that the IRS requires subtantiation of charges to a co-pay credit card (with charges allowed to a certain amount to satistfy a yearly deductible). As a result, the service provider asked that employees submit proof of eligible health care services/charges.  The provider acknowledges that the actual content of the proof is Protected Health Information which prompts their request for the employess to complete a HIPPA Release Form.  

Seems like a Catch-22 situation with the potential for the employer to uncover specific medical information about employees.

Thoughts?
"He is my oldest child. The shy and retiring one over there with the Haitian headdress serving pescaíto frito."

Offline Assurbanipal

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Re: Can an insurance company notify your employer of your HIV status
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2011, 08:24:20 PM »
Has anyone ever heard of a HIPPA Release Form?  Employees recently received notice stating that the IRS requires subtantiation of charges to a co-pay credit card (with charges allowed to a certain amount to satistfy a yearly deductible). As a result, the service provider asked that employees submit proof of eligible health care services/charges.  The provider acknowledges that the actual content of the proof is Protected Health Information which prompts their request for the employess to complete a HIPPA Release Form. 

Seems like a Catch-22 situation with the potential for the employer to uncover specific medical information about employees.

Thoughts?

Well, the IRS has  gone back and forth on what substantiation is required in the past year or so, so this request is not on-its-face implausible.

But it would make sense for you to get confirmation that the information will go straight to the service provider and not be shared with the employer.  This is an eminently reasonable request and one which, if they are thinking, they should realize protects them as well.  (Waivers are a tricky topic for employers -- even if they get you to sign one there can be all these questions about informed consent, etc.)

Assurbanipal (not a lawyer, but worked closely with a few )
5/06 VL 1M+, CD4 22, 5% , pneumonia, thrush -- O2 support 2 months, 6/06 +Kaletra/Truvada
9/06 VL 3959 CD4 297 13.5% 12/06 VL <400 CD4 350 15.2% +Pravachol
2007 VL<400, 70, 50 CD4 408-729 16.0% -19.7%
2008 VL UD CD4 468 - 538 16.7% - 24.6% Osteoporosis 11/08 doubled Pravachol, +Calcium/D
02/09 VL 100 CD4 616 23.7% 03/09 VL 130 5/09 VL 100 CD4 540 28.4% +Actonel (osteoporosis) 7/09 VL 130
8/09  new regimen Isentress/Epzicom 9/09 VL UD CD4 621 32.7% 11/09 VL UD CD4 607 26.4% swap Isentress for Prezista/Norvir 12/09 (liver and muscle issues) VL 50
2010 VL UD CD4 573-680 26.1% - 30.9% 12/10 VL 20
2011 VL UD-20 CD4 568-673 24.7%-30.6%
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Offline OneTampa

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Re: Can an insurance company notify your employer of your HIV status
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2011, 07:52:29 PM »
Assurbanipal,

Very helpful information.

Thank you!
"He is my oldest child. The shy and retiring one over there with the Haitian headdress serving pescaíto frito."

 


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