Group Employee Benefit Plans/HIPAA and Hybrid's

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Question
Hello.  Employers, EAP's and Hybrid Covered Entities.  A contracted EAP person told me that 'I would be terminated' if I don't sign his Release of Medical Information. I signed.  This EAP person then tells my ex-employer that I was currently using drugs and I was terminated solely because of his statement. I have filed a complaint with the CEAP and it looks like he will lose his certification.  If he does, what effect could this have on the employers actions in terminating me?  

This benefit falls under a 'Group Welfare Plan'.  What agency would have jurisdiction for privacy violation?

the Authorization to Release Information that I was forced to sign or be terminated I believe was not a 'valid authorization' from the git go.  It is missing two core elements.

HHS says it is not their jurisdiction over employers.

Employer is self funded.

I can send you documents but I dont want them published.

Thank you

Answer
Please do not send me documents. Yes, this sounds like a HIPPA violation by the EAP. It was also a document signed under duress and not your free will.

I would start with filing a HIPPA complaint. You can find all the information you need at :

http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/complaints/index.html

This probably will not effect the decision by the employer to terminate employment.  If you are in a treatment program and no longer using drugs than you may have some protections under the ADA with the Department of Labor it would be worth checking it out. Otherwise the company is required under their drug policy to terminate anyone using drugs no matter how the information was obtained.

Shirley

Group Employee Benefit Plans

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Shirley McAllister, CPP, PHR

Expertise

I can answer questions about Benefits plans, Health and Retirement, Erisa, Hippa, Cafeteria 125, Cobra and 401K. I cannot answer questions about stock option plans or other retirement plans.

Experience

I have been 25 years with my current International company. I am the Health Plan benefit administrator and I am also the Retirement Plan Trustee. I am the Human Resource Director.

Organizations
SHRM APA

Publications
I.O.M.A. B.N.A.

Education/Credentials
PHR in Human Resources CPP in Payroll

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