Did I screw my mom over with a mental illness diagnosis?
August 31, 2016 5:16 PM   Subscribe

Within this year got two diagnoses of bipolar and depression while still on my mother's insurance. She recently lost her job. Could it be because of this? Also how will this affect her in looking for another job and insurance? Is there any to hide this or fix it by getting these diagnoses removed?
posted by wilywabbit to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Do you have any reason to think these two sets of events are related in any way? Does anyone at your mother's job know about this? Was there grumbling about the price of her insurance premiums? If not, I would assume that no, the two sets of events are unrelated. Depression and bipolar are fairly routine diagnoses.

Per the ACA, it is now illegal for insurance companies to deny coverage for a pre-existing condition. I'm also not sure that there's an easy way for a potential employer to find about dependents' routine medical diagnoses before hiring someone.
posted by Sara C. at 5:23 PM on August 31, 2016 [11 favorites]

Unless her old employer ran a self-funded health insurance plan, they would know nothing about this. Someone in HR would be getting the claims, but they don't have any identifying information attached to them.

It's pretty impossible for this to be the reason.
posted by Automocar at 5:28 PM on August 31, 2016 [10 favorites]

A potential future employer wouldn't have any information about your mother's dependent's health information or claims experience, and the EEOC (per the ADA) would care if they denied employment because of it.

The EEOC might also take exception to firing an employee because of a dependent's disability.

However, like Sara pointed out - is there any reason to suspect that your diagnosis had anything to do with her termination? Depression and bipolar aren't catastrophically expensive (the way, say hemophilia might be for a certain size employer).
posted by Pax at 5:36 PM on August 31, 2016 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Absolutely no reason for me to think so, just my own paranoia.
posted by wilywabbit at 5:41 PM on August 31, 2016

Any self-insuring employer is capable enough to be much too scared of a civil rights complaint to do something like that - the risk management people will have gone to seminars and heard enough about the ADA and GINA to run the other way from any such thing. It would also be enormously difficult to gain the information.

The only practical impact of this kind of diagnosis will probably be life insurance, and how future medical providers treat you. And possibly your own ability to qualify for private disability insurance.
posted by SMPA at 5:41 PM on August 31, 2016 [1 favorite]

Under HIPAA your mother's employer wouldn't be able request information about your health information from your doctors without your express permission.
posted by Karaage at 5:50 PM on August 31, 2016 [2 favorites]

It is indeed just your paranoia. This is not really a thing. I mean, I'm sure this sort of thing happens occasionally, but it's wildly improbable, not to mention illegal. Absent some strong specific reasons to suspect such foul play, you can safely put this possibility out of your mind. If you want permission to not worry about this, you have mine.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 7:44 PM on August 31, 2016 [6 favorites]

This does happen, but it happens for expensive illnesses like cancer, not for Depression.
posted by Sockpuppets 'R' Us at 8:27 PM on August 31, 2016 [5 favorites]

Yeah, this would be your bipolar and depression talking. SHUT UP BIPOLAR AND DEPRESSION. YOU'RE NOT HELPING.

One of the best things you can do to help your mom is to continue to seek medical treatment for your medical condition. The stronger and healthier you are, the easier it will be for your mom to take care of her own needs.
posted by disconnect at 6:06 AM on September 1, 2016 [10 favorites]

All of the above is absolutely true, but just to tackle this from one more angle in case you're still worried:

I am someone who carries on my insurance a loved one who has bipolar disorder. I don't believe this to have had any impact on my finding or keeping jobs, but even if it somehow did - I would still be 100% glad that my family member had been properly diagnosed and treated. Their quality of life is much better for it, and so mine is as well due to knowing how to help them and how to understand what's going on when they are doing poorly. I would never, ever think of them as having "screwed me over" in any way by getting that diagnosis or the treatment they need for it.

You've done nothing wrong here and do not need to worry about it at all.
posted by Stacey at 6:54 AM on September 1, 2016 [1 favorite]

Yeah, this would be your bipolar and depression talking. SHUT UP BIPOLAR AND DEPRESSION. YOU'RE NOT HELPING.


Also, for the love of spaghetti, DO NOT try to reverse these diagnoses! You need to treat them, not pretend they don't exist.
posted by the_blizz at 7:38 AM on September 1, 2016 [2 favorites]

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