During my first annual enrollment with the company, I have received a letter from HR department that I need to provide the medical history for myself and my dependents before they will renew insurance. I live and work in Ohio, United States.

Previously I have worked in a healthcare industry and I know how strictly HIPPA related information should be guarded and I don't understand why I would be forced to willfully give up such information to a third party company that will share it with insurance brokers, who in turn will share it with an unknown number of companies.

Since I'm sort of a DBA, and I know my way around SQL Server, I know how easy it is for DBA to get any data they want if a company is not doing their job.

  • Is it possible they're using the health information for life insurance?
    – user8365
    Sep 21, 2016 at 15:59
  • 1
    You already have insurance? This is a REALLY interesting question and I'd like to know the answer but unfortunately, legal questions are off topic and it's likely to be closed. Maybe this link will help. time.com/money/3579354/health-risk-assessment-questionnaire I don't know if they can tie it to renewing insurance you already have. Probably ought to talk to an employment lawyer, seriously.
    – Chris E
    Sep 21, 2016 at 16:11
  • Maybe this link, too (which has links to other things that might help your research): justanswer.com/employment-law/… There's an answer in that link that specifically mentions Ohio too.
    – Chris E
    Sep 21, 2016 at 16:15
  • I have denied their life insurance and they are asking to fill out forms for regular medical insurance. Sep 21, 2016 at 16:21
  • I started with the company just 5 months ago and already got medical coverage, this is for an annual enrollment process. Sep 21, 2016 at 16:31

1 Answer 1


I've done a bit of research on this and (surprise surprise) this is remarkably common and unfortunately it is legal. It's not suspicious. The reason I've done research is that my employer is doing the same thing to me. I started in February, my open season is in November. Now I have to fill out this massive questionnaire detailing all of the information you talked about including medical history and Social Security numbers for me and all of my dependents.

Yes, it's legal and yes it's accepted practice.

As you've correctly stated, the HIPAA prevents them from sharing it, but it doesn't prevent them from requiring it because it's directly related to them shopping for insurance.

Going to your supervisor or HR really won't change anything because this is being mandated by their carrier most likely or whoever is conducting a search for new insurance.

You have 2 options. You can fill out the history and give them the information or you can waive insurance. Even then you'll still have to fill out that paperwork (but without all the detail).

I feel your pain, as I'm in the same boat.

  • This makes no sense because ACA guidelines state: Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurance companies can’t refuse to cover you or charge you more just because you have a “pre-existing condition” — that is, a health problem you had before the date that new health coverage starts. They also can’t charge women more than men. if they can't charge more or less, why is it any of their business? Sep 22, 2016 at 16:15
  • @VladimirOselsky They're not refusing to cover so no crime's been committed. But they CAN take an aggregate of the "cost to insure" of a group and then base pricing on that accordingly. I realize it's a back-door way of doing the same thing, but what makes it legal is that they're not singling out an individual but saying "your group is too expensive to insure so we're not offering your group coverage, i.e. the whole employer gets denied. That then makes employers want to limit the exposure of their group by firing people with families who are sick a lot.
    – Chris E
    Sep 22, 2016 at 16:57
  • @VladimirOselsky that doesnt Change the fact that smokers pay more snce they smoke. Atleast in my Country they are allowed since you are doing it on purpose. Sep 23, 2016 at 8:03

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .