Insurer sent me an authorization form to sign so they could ask my GP for an update on my file as my treating doctor for my LTD claim had closed his practice for an extended period of time due to COVID.
My GP does not treat me for my mental illness (reason for LTD) and I informed my case worker of this and also educated that I wasn’t even sure if my GP knew of my mental illness, so I didn’t sign the authorization form. In the mean time I’ve seen my treating LTD doctor.
Fast forward a couple of weeks, I had a follow up with my GP in which he tells me a letter from the insurer was received asking for a medical update, he was confused as he wasn’t aware that I was on LTD and that I had any reason to be on LTD so he was going to disregard the request.
My question, is there any legal implications here as I did not authorize the insurer to contact my GP? Breech of privacy? Am I required to sign this form to authorize someone who isn’t treating me? Just curious…
There was no privacy breached from what you’ve said. Anyone can phone any doctor and ask them for info. If your doctor had released info without permission then you could sue him. Sounds like you are upset that your primary doctor found out you are on LTD, but that’s not the fault of the LTD company because you are the one who provided them with your doctor’s contact info. If that is not your treating physician then you need to contact your LTD company asap and let them know the contact info of the doctor who is actually treating you for your illlness. There is not really any way around this, pretty much every LTD policy requires that you be under the regular care of a physician for your LTD illness and that you provide reasonable updates as requested.
to sum up my question in a few words, my concern is the insurer asked my general practitioner for a medical update before receiving a signed consent form. Are they legally able to do this?
And in no way am I upset my general practitioner is aware that I am on LTD, it just didn’t concern him.
I understand. So what you are concerned about is that the LTD company informed someone you were on LTD without authorization and in doing so breached your confidentiality. It just so happens that someone is your family doctor on file with them. Boy… I don’t know what to say. I will let @David_Brannen handle this one.
I don’t appreciate you making me feel like I’m some idiot for asking a question. I was specifically asking a question to a lawyer, not someone who has nothing else to do but respond to threads about issues they have no formal educational training on. If you must know, the only reason why the insurer has my general practitioners name is because they wanted a print out from my pharmacy with all medication, his scripts for blood pressure, epi-pens, etc. Was on that list.
I will reiterate, nobody is upset that the insurer contacted my general practitioner and exposed that I am on LTD. I just want to know if I should be concerned they requested this information without a signed consent form.
I was just trying to clarify what your primary concern was. Usually posts in here have a grievance and I assumed that was yours. In your original post you mentioned that the letter they sent to your doctor resulted in him finding out about your LTD for the first time. I assumed you included this information because it was relevant, but you are now saying that has nothing to do with anything, correct? Your main concern is, quoting you, “should be concerned they requested this information without a signed consent form.” Does that mean you have no grievance? You clearly state “Nobody is upset that the insurer contacted my general practitioner”, but yet you are here asking if you should be concerned about it. Why would you be concerned about it? No information was released. Your insurer obtained zero information. They are no further ahead than they were. The system worked. Now if you are saying you feel violated because they revealed to your doctor you were on LTD, then that would make sense, but you have said that is not the reason.
Also, please be aware this is a public forum, anyone can read it, it is not a place to ask a 1 to 1 question from a lawyer. If you would like me to stop responding to your post then just ask and you won’t hear from me again. I have no intent of making anyone feel stupid. We are all on the same side here and we know who the real enemy is.
You should get the free consult if you want a lawyer.
You may or may not hear from a lawyer here.
Free Consultation Request — Resolute Legal
My non-lawyer answer is that hopefully your doctor wouldn’t answer without having a copy of the consent form.
I don’t know if it is legal to ask but I doubt you can sue because no harm was done.
Ask your doctor if they need to be shown a consent form before they answer such request (I bet they do).
This likely falls under the incompetence area rather than malice. I am glad no harm was done and I don’t think you need to worry about it. The only thing I would do is to reiterate to them in writing that they requested a medical update from your GP without your consent, that your GP was the wrong person to contact as the person treating your disability is Dr. XXX and that they do (or do not) have your permission to contact your treating doctor. Write it very politely in a tone that is just puzzled and clearing things up that makes you sound very reasonable rather than in a confrontational tone.
And keep a copy for your records.
This both gets your situation and consent (lack of consent) on the written record as well as getting their mistake on the record in case you ever end up in a credibility contest with them.
Thanks for your response. That makes sense that my GP would have to receive my signed consent form prior to releasing any information. It just seems as if the insurer went about it backwards.
Thank you very much! I will send this very well written letter today!