I have started a new job which I enjoy however I recently got my health insurance enrollment forms and they offer fully paid, long term disability. I keep my diagnosis of type one VERY private to avoid speculation, comments and judgement. I was reading through my papers and got very upset as one form needed to be signed for the long term disability and it states by signing this, they have access to all my medical records. I literally broke down as I am now so afraid my new employer will know of my diagnosis by signing this form…it’s a small office and I don’t want my personal, health information spreading. Idk what to do. Any experience? Also, for long term disability, what the hell is 12/12 exclusion? I read into it but am slightly confused… any help or experience is very appreciated. I appreciate this support group and having understanding people to help me though tough times no one else comprehends.
I always declare my diabetes. It is a federally protected class, you cannot be lawfully discriminated against based on this disability. By declaring it, you are also forcing your employer to make “reasonable accommodations” for your condition. For example, you may not be fired or punished for needing to excuse yourself to reasonably correct a high/low blood sugar, you should be allowed to keep food or medications on your person or desk to treat this condition. You are allowed reasonable breaks above and beyond that of normal employees to manage your condition, if you require. You are allowed to take unexcused absences under FMLA related to diabetes that you cannot be punished for. You do not have to tell them you have diabetes, and in certain situations they are not allowed to ask, you can simply tell them that you have a “federally protected disability”.
You also have rights to confidentiality. I have no background in law or HR, but I am sure it is a massive violation of your privacy rights if the insurance company were to disclose your medical record with your employer. If that happened, you wouldnt need a job anymore, you’d be so busy suing both entities.
I freely share my affliction with T1D. Partly because its so hard to hide, and because it removes the stigma. Most importantly, it could save my life if I needed help with hypoglycemia or something. It did make my current job a bit more difficult to get, Im a heavy equipment mechanic and I have to meet “DOT health standards”. But then, I had 5 different doctors respond from laughter to scratching their head at this decree from my employer, all exclaiming something to the effect of “they cant legally do this”.
Hi @Mlp1124 Michelle
Usually, 12/12 means if you’ve been treated for anything in the last 12 months that that thing you were treated for is excluded from payout during the first 12 months of coverage. Let’s be specific, this means diabetes.
So don’t become disabled by diabetes the first year and yer good to go. After 12 months of premium payment this exclusion ends for the insurer. This is to prevent fraud by the employee.
This coverage can sometimes be extended even if you leave your job.
I have a life insurance policy I converted when I was laid off which was in 1998 and I still have it.
Good luck on the new job!
Michelle @Mlp1124, I can understand your fears and concerns and you certainly have the right and privilege to keep diabetes private. It is true that TypeOne diabetes is a protected disability under P.L. 101-336 the Americans with Disabilities Act and you can, if and when necessary, privately make your condition and request “reasonable accommodation”; but it is not necessary for you to mention diabetes unless you are requesting accommodation.
Your concern about giving the disability insurance company access to your complete medical history would be effective if, and only if, you file a claim for disability. Now, that is just my thought because I have not thoroughly read the form to which you refer. Ethical employees reviewing information disclosed on insurance applications should not disclose anything; but !!! In January 1960 I was fired on my first day of employment with Prudential Insurance when my new boss saw my “diabetes” entry on my health insurance application - he said it would be a waste of time training me because in those days no one with diabetes was supposed to live beyond age 25.
Hi , I’m a T1D for the past 38 years I was diagnosed at the age of 2 years. I understand completely understand where you are coming from. I use to think that same way. The best thing for you to do is let them know. they can not discriminate against you for any means necessary. and then at the same time you let your boss know what your situation is and to keep it private. cause god forbids you get a low sugar and pass out. or your sugar gets to high. that they are aware of what is happening to you…
You may not have a choice but to disclose your diabetes at some point. I used to work in a group of about 20-30 people, and a good few were diabetic (at least 6 or 7). There was one other person with Type 1 and the others had Type 2. Many wanted to keep their condition secret. But since I freely disclosed my diabetes (e.g. when I turned down birthday cake or sugar-coated doughnuts), many of them would talk to me in private and tell me they had it too. One day, however, one person I did not know was diabetic had a severe low blood sugar, and the supervisor asked me if they could borrow my glucose. That person was basically “outed” in this way. After the incident, everyone forgot about it, and no one treated him any differently.
I have been T1D for 67 years. I was raised to tell everyone about my condition. The important reason to do that is so your co-workers know what to do to help you if you can’t. It only happened twice in my 34 year teaching career, but it was life saving as they got me needed help quickly. Your co-workers “speculation, comments and judgements” will come so let your informed and engaged talk about yourself provide them with positive comments and help when you need it.
Thank you all for your input and perspectives. I went ahead and submitted my paperwork so I guess we shall see what happens. I’ve been type one for almost 7 years so I think part of me really hasn’t fully embraced and accepted my condition yet which may be why I do not like to talk about it with people(non- diabetic people). I also oddly don’t know many people with diabetes, especially my age which is why I think I always feel like there is something so wrong with me it embarrasses me still. Thanks again- it’s nice to have somewhere to go to talk to people when I need it- it is appreciated.
good luck on the new Job @Mlp1124 Michelle, you know, with HIPPA, only a rarefied few are even allowed to know if you write down you have diabetes,and the law “protects” you from being discriminated against because you have diabetes, but leaving something out or lying about something on those papers are cause for dismissal . In 40 years of walking the planet with t1, I have only really met 3-4 people with type 1. If you are looking for a network, you might find more people at a JDRF chapter fundraiser, you can find your local chapter by going here https://www.jdrf.org/chapters/ and putting in your zip code. hope to see you around.
Whats the actual statistic though, I see number ranging from 3% to 1 in 300 are type 1 diabetic in the US? You’ve probably met a lot of PWT1D and never realized, we look, talk, act, and live just like normal people because we are normal except for this one error in our bodies. I bumped shoulders with a bodybuilder in a bar a few months ago and my Guardian 3 sensor snagged his Omnipod through our shirts. It’s one of the most instantly connecting and endearing events when you randomly meet someone else who is going about life, but secretly knows the struggle.
People every age have Diabetes, some of us are born with it, some of us get it as children, as teenagers. A lot of people develop Type 1 as adults. Perhaps we are more unashamed and open about it when we are younger, such that it seems almost exclusively an affliction of the young. But the young grow old, so Id reckon that most Type 1 diabetics are adults.
I dont think you should be embarrassed that you have Type 1! I know how much stronger, and wiser it has forced you to be. How, when life pushed you down and kicked dirt on you, you got back up, dusted yourself off, and said “I can do this”. And you do it everyday. You are not weak, you are a fighter. You have the perseverance to approach this head on everyday without ever taking a day off. Dont be ashamed of it, be proud of it. We are proud of you for living with Type 1 diabetes. If you can handle Type 1 Diabetes, then there is no stigma or prejudice powerful enough to hold you back, that won’t fall before you.
That’s wild and very cool( the body builder thing) thank you for the inspiring words.
Yeah I didn’t lie and it honestly didn’t specifically ask about diabetes, I just panicked when I had to sign a release that allowed the Ltd people access to all my records. I’m a very private person, ESPECIALLY at work. But, it’s done and is what it is