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Sep-22-04, 03:17 AM (CDST)
 
"New job, Health insurance questions"
 
   ok here's the situation.....i've been unemployed for a while, over a year, and recently i've been offered a position at a small company, about 50 employees. as of right now i'm scared to death that when i take this job i would be denied health insurance because i'm taking meds for suppressive therapy. has anyone been in my shoes willing to help me through this awful situation? i can't believe that i can be actually denied health insurance because of H...or could they just put a "pre-existing" clause on my insurance plan, which seems more reasonable...

secondly, i am very private about my condition and as for privacy, will they inform my company that i am denied or have a "pre-existing" clause or will they directly contact me regarding this issue?

I know that companies specifically HR are not supposed to disclose any information about anyones condition but i feel that i will stick out like a sore thumb in a company this small, people always talk, and this has really bothered me, im actually petrified. i feel like i want to turn down this job so i can save myself from embarassment but i need this job. I don't know what to think and this really sucks...........does anyone have any insight to ease my suffering????


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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  If herpes was cause for denying employment.. Rajahadmin Sep-22-04 1
     RE: If herpes was cause for denying employment.. Aribottoms Sep-22-04 2
         RE: If herpes was cause for denying employment.. Amanda Sep-22-04 3
                 RE: If herpes was cause for denying employment.. muffin Sep-22-04 6
                 People who reveal medical info... Rajahadmin Sep-22-04 8
  RE: New job, Health insurance questions Disc Sep-23-04 9
     RE: New job, Health insurance questions Amanda Sep-23-04 10

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Rajahadmin
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7444 posts
Sep-22-04, 09:50 AM (CDST)
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1. "If herpes was cause for denying employment.."
In response to message #0
 
an awful lot of people would be out of work. Remember that in a company with 50 employees, statistically, about a dozen of them will have genital herpes and most will have oral herpes. So no, it's not a deal breaker.

Whether it is considered a pre-existing condition probably depends on the insurance company and how their group policy is written. I think that HIPAA regulations would preclude their discussing this with your employer.

Don't let this stop you from getting a good job.

"Do the Right Thing. It will gratify some people and astound the rest." - Mark Twain


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Aribottoms
Member since Jul-8-04
22 posts
Sep-22-04, 09:54 AM (CDST)
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2. "RE: If herpes was cause for denying employment.."
In response to message #1
 
   I have asthma and when I moved to Illinois from Florida and got a new job and insurance I still got my inhalers...I just told the doc and he gave me a prescription. I think "pre-existing" means like my daughter with her cleft lip-she is covered by ALL insurance for the rest of her life for any surgeries and doc visits. Certain things like pregancy and cancer I THINK also would have to be covered by a new insurance. Suppressive is like birth control, you just get a new prescription and it should not have any issues with your insurance.


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Amanda
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Sep-22-04, 01:26 PM (CDST)
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3. "RE: If herpes was cause for denying employment.."
In response to message #2
 
   LAST EDITED ON Sep-22-04 AT 01:28 PM (CDST)
 
Whether or not your insurance covers it, they will NOT notify your employer about any of your medical conditions. I know a lot of people are really paranoid about their HR department finding out their personal health info, but this is just not the case.

We had a woman attend our herpes support group last month who happens to work in an HR department. I asked her about this very matter, because people always bring it up. She said she absolutely does not have access to people's medical records and would have no way to access their medical info.

The only thing your HR department is in charge of is giving you the paperwork to sign up to your health plan. That's IT! Once you are under your particular health insurance plan, HR is completely out of the picture. Your employer does NOT have access to your personal medical info.

New York HELP: www.nyhelp.org
NY Social & Support Links: www.nyfriends.org


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muffin
Member since Sep-10-04
22 posts
Sep-22-04, 05:20 PM (CDST)
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6. "RE: If herpes was cause for denying employment.."
In response to message #4
 
   I worked in a Benefits Dept for 6 years.

The first question you should ask when discussing benefits with your prospective employer is if the plan has a pre-existing condition clause at all. It's a very common question and you should be able to ask them without having to dislose why you want to know. Even if it does have a pre-existing condition clause, it usually means that you would not be able to to have medical care related to that condition covered by the insurance for a certain amount of time (maybe 6-12 months).

If you are terribly concerned about HR/co-workers finding out about your condition, you might want to check to see if the health insurance plan is "self-insured" or "self-funded". This means that when you make your insurance payments the company keeps the money in a big pool and uses it to pay the insurance claims/medical bills (thus they would see your medical bills). Given that you will be at a small company it is highly unlikely that it will have a "self-funded" plan since there are so few people. If one person had an expensive illness (for example: cancer treatment) the pool of money would be drained quickly. If you are familiar with the name of the insurance company then it most likely is not a self-funded/insured plan.

With a private insurer, the HR person might get a usage report (7 office visits, 25 blood tests etc). I don't know how detailed they are (varies by company) but they should not have any names or personal indicators on them.

One benefit you might want to be cautious with if you are concerned about coworkers finding out about your HSV is the Medical Spending Account. This is a way you can save paying taxes on out of pocket medical expenses by having money deducted from your pay check each pay period and put into the MSA account. You get the money back when you submit receipts for medical bills you paid. You can save 40% in taxes by doing this! But, if this is processed by the HR/benefits person they would see the receipt (ie for the copay for your Valtrex). It is possible that they might outsource the administration of this type of plan too.

I currently work in an office of 15 people. The health insurance is not self-funded. I get Valtrex all the time and no one at work has looked at me funny (well, at least not because of herpes!). I participate in the MSA but since the CFO does the administration I just don't submit Valtrex receipts.

I hope you have enough information so that you feel comfortable to accept this job! A new job should be a happy thing, not full of worries. Good luck! And let us know if you take the job!

muffin


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Rajahadmin
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Sep-22-04, 09:41 PM (CDST)
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8. "People who reveal medical info..."
In response to message #4
 
LAST EDITED ON Sep-22-04 AT 09:43 PM (CDST)
 
could be in some very serious trouble. The new laws are very strong in that regard.

"Do the Right Thing. It will gratify some people and astound the rest." - Mark Twain


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Disc
Guest
Sep-23-04, 01:00 AM (CDST)
 
9. "RE: New job, Health insurance questions"
In response to message #0
 
   ahhh, feeling much better thanks for the quick and info packed response, you guys and gals are awesome!!!!

not only have you answered my questions but hopefully this post will help inform others that are in similar situations that i am in. thanks again......


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Amanda
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426 posts
Sep-23-04, 09:55 AM (CDST)
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10. "RE: New job, Health insurance questions"
In response to message #9
 
   Rajah, this is a good thread for the Hall of Fame!

New York HELP: www.nyhelp.org
NY Social & Support Links: www.nyfriends.org


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