In my employer sponsored medical insurance, my confidential private health info leaked to my employer. Does this violate my privacy?

My employer provides a medical insurance. One section of the enrollment form asks existing medical problems, treatment, medication, etc. The form prints “this confidential information will not be seen or given to your employer” and “after completion, please remove the tap and fold close to seal”, which I did. But a few days later, my employer asked me specific question regarding what I filled to the form, such as what the dosage of the medicine I am taking, etc. Does this violate my privacy?

Asked on July 1, 2009 under Insurance Law, California

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

It certainly sounds that way to me.  I'm not sure exactly what you should do about this right now, because there is quite a bit more information that would be needed for reliable advice.   But you should absolutely follow this up, to "make a record" if for not other reason.

"Making a record" is a lawyer's phrase for preserving evidence for later use.  Here, it's possible that nothing will happen -- or appear to happen -- because of the possible invasion of your privacy.  However, if you are later discriminated against because of your medical history, it would be difficult to go back and reconstruct that invasion of privacy months or even years later -- so you document it now.  It's good insurance -- and the fact that you've done it might be enough to keep your employer honest, and avoid the problem altogether, which is the best result.


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