I am currently using medication for a non-life threatening, but serious physical health condition that can sometimes affect my ability to sleep well and thus affect my productivity. The medication does NOT affect my productivity or mood. I don't know how much time it will take for the condition to go away or if stronger intervention is needed. As an aside, I lost a significant amount of weight and became underweight because of this condition. My weight fluctuates by large amounts, but I never end up looking emaciated.

The recruiter has asked me to fill and e-mail them a form which will reveal all the things that I told you about. This form seems to come from the health insurance company. I had filled a similar form for a previous employer, but I don't remember if it asked such questions.

I am wondering if I need to disclose this information to the recruiter. I am concerned that the recruiter could easily use this information against me, because of the terms in my contract. I am on a short-term contract with the possibility of full-time hire. I even started for working a few days and learned that junior contractors have been let go by the client, well before the end of contract, due to various reasons. I don't want to end up like them because of this form.

Do I need to e-mail my form to the recruiter or can I just send it to the health insurance company instead, without making it look odd to them ? I don't think that the recruiter needs to know all this because I am doing software development and not a job that requires lifting heavy things or being alert all the time (eg. pilot).

  • I certainly wouldn't be sharing any personal information until I'd accepted an offer. And any company with half a brain wouldn't want the information because it's going to open them up to all sorts of legal issues surrounding disability legislation and the like. If you have accepted an offer, is this recruiter a 3rd party of simply part of Human Resources?
    – Dan
    Commented Jun 22, 2014 at 21:38
  • @Dan - I have accepted the offer by e-mail, but still sending them all the documentation. I have worked for a few days at the client. The recruiter is third party.
    – sid smith
    Commented Jun 22, 2014 at 22:17
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    @sidsmith - The health insurance company doesn't have a relationship with you (yet); contacting them directly is not good form. On the other hand, if you're not legally obligated to reveal personal health information in your state/country of residence, refrain from doing so. If you honestly believe with any certainty that your condition will not severely adversely affect your performance, you don't have to tell them anything. Possibly related: workplace.stackexchange.com/a/11396/2536
    – kolossus
    Commented Jun 22, 2014 at 22:53
  • @kolossus - In it's current state, my health problem should not affect me on more than 5-6 random days in a month. But, if it gets out of control, then I could be hospitalized for a week. So, I was thinking of just leaving those fields blank. If I do that, then the only concern would be that it could affect my coverage.
    – sid smith
    Commented Jun 22, 2014 at 22:57
  • Overlap with workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/27512/…
    – user8036
    Commented Jun 24, 2014 at 14:11

1 Answer 1


Since you are in the USA, I'd respond to the request with something like

I assume this form should actually go straight back to the health insurance company, so that <recruiting company> doesn't have to deal with all the HIPAA issues surrounding protecting PHI on its servers and so on. Could you send me the address for submitting this directly?

That way you sort of frame it as that you want to send it directly to avoid them having a problem as opposed to not wanting the person in question to see your information.

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    +1 for mentioning PHI. But in most jurisdictions, health data held by employers isn't covered by HIPAA / HITEC / ARRA. If you disclose it to them it leaks out from under the PHI shield. Hopefully the recruiter doesn't know that.
    – O. Jones
    Commented Jun 23, 2014 at 0:01
  • Interesting, @OllieJones, I did not know that. But if the recruiter does know that and explains it to the applicant, the applicant could then ask something like, "In that case, how do you plan to protect my health information if I send it through you? I don't mean to be difficult, but I'd rather not end up with my private information just floating around out there." (tho that may tip-off that there is info they'd rather not share). There's no legit reason for the employer to handle health info intended for the insurance company, and most honest companies would rather avoid the responsibility. Commented Jun 23, 2014 at 0:34
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    @Ramhound I agree that that is possible, but I think the OP wanted to not necessarily let on that they didn't want to disclose their medical information, because even knowing that might represent a red flag to the recruiter, who might wonder if whatever they were hiding would impact their ability to do their job effectively. Commented Jun 23, 2014 at 20:08
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    If you want your would-be employer to provide "reasonable accommodation" under the Americans with Disabilities Act, you'll need to tell them what you need and why. But only after hire. If they discriminate in hiring, they're playing with fire.
    – O. Jones
    Commented Jun 24, 2014 at 14:36
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    @OllieJones This is in ref to "But in most jurisdictions, health data held by employers isn't covered by HIPAA / HITEC / ARRA." Are you sure about that? We're taught that health data held by the emplorer IS under the protection of those acts. The company I work for doesn't accept personal health documentation for exactly that reason. All docs must be sent directly to the health care provider.
    – CGCampbell
    Commented Jun 24, 2014 at 15:44

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