Any impact on future medical prem by filing accomodation req

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Background:
Currently, I am working at a global company with +3000 employee on-site . Lately, I’ve experienced lower back/hip pain, and  a local Orthopedic specialist didn’t find anything wrong with joints or bones, but he recommended a standing desk after hearing about long working hours, Avg 60~70 hr/week  in sitting position.  He wrote me a prescription for the standing desk, so I can submit the request to my company. HR (Benefit) opened the case with Prudential ADAdvocate which is a company benefit administrator.
Prudential is requiring both doctor and myself to fill out the medical inquiry form. This form is talking about Americans with Disability Act (ADA), and I am not disabled or anything
I spoke to couple employee who are already utilizing the standing desk for ergonomic accommodation, but they never went through this kind of process.

Question:
Can anybody tell me what would be the implication of filing such a form for ADA? Could this impact the health insurance or other medical related insurance premium?

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How did your coworkers get standing desks then?

jerosen said:   How did your coworkers get standing desks then?
  
He was able to get it with his chiropractor's note.
Due to high demand from employee, the company may have changed the handling process.
   

I think you're fine. Never heard of an employee healthcare contribution being higher because of an ADA accommodation. I have to think that would violate the ADA itself. Closest I have heard is a higher charge for smokers than non-smokers.

I don't know anything about the specifics,

but I just wanted to say that I think you are right to be cautious about the ramifications of this,

because it might end up with your being labelled (maybe incorrectly-labelled) in the health insurance industry's and the government's computer systems as having been diagnosed with a disability by a doctor,

and that could potentially have ramifications beyond your current job, maybe across any other sorts of health insurance you would buy in the future, or even unemployment insurance, life insurance, who knows what it could impact.

Bear in mind that it's not certain that the current law saying that insurance companies cannot discriminate amongst customers, or charge some more than others, based on "pre-existing conditions"
will be in place for the next couple of decades (or even the next couple of months!)

...However, I guess that you have already gone far enough down this path that your diagnosed condition and your doctor's request for a standing desk are already in your medical records and will be considered "pre-existing".

Well, I am just speculating, but I think you are right to look into this closely before following that path to its conclusion.

Maybe your company is doing this because it's the easiest or cheapest path for them to take, or maybe they are trying to make employees back down from requesting a standing desk.

Would you be able to push back a bit and request the same process that the previous claimants went through, just a note from a chiropractor and that's it? Is there any kind of protection/right for you to be treated in the same manner as other colleagues have recently been treated?

I wonder if they could put through the request for it to be a temporary adjustment to your desk furniture, and not a permanent accommodation of a "disability". Maybe you could ask for a standing desk to be rented or leased for you, maybe to be provided for you month-to-month, as you see how your health improves, or something like that? Would they be more willing to treat it without a huge bunch of bureaucratic fuss if they could cast it as a temporary effort (in a similar way as having a special cushioned stool provided that a person could rest the full cast of a broken leg on, while he/she sat at his/her desk -- or something like that.)

The thing is that this ability to work while not sitting is important for you, since it takes up 60 hours of your week -- it's not like you are asking for something that is a nice-to-have but not necessary in the short-term, and it's not like you want to wait around for weeks and weeks while this gets arranged.  The most important thing is to ease your discomfort as soon as possible.

Good luck!

No, no impact.

Thank you for your opinion on this. That's exactly what I was concerned about.
Yeah, I am not really happy with how these thing is being handled.
There are 40 hours/wk workers who already got the standing desks, my request has been ping-pong between HR and Facility (who's charge with desk) 

I wish I can just get one of those work-station, and bring it to work but facility will make a big fuss out of this.
 

What kind of a form?
Personally, I'm not a fan of my employer having any medical information about me. A prescription should suffice for your HR, so I would question why they require you to disclose any additional medical information.

PS.  No PT prescribed?

yupkisama said:   Thank you for your opinion on this. That's exactly what I was concerned about.
Yeah, I am not really happy with how these thing is being handled.
There are 40 hours/wk workers who already got the standing desks, my request has been ping-pong between HR and Facility (who's charge with desk) 

I wish I can just get one of those work-station, and bring it to work but facility will make a big fuss out of this.

  
Don't sweat it, its not coming out of your insurance -- it is coming out of the employers safety/workplace budget.  Due to HIPAA and other regulations your accommodation request is between you and your company and can't go "in someone's database."  As long as you are making a fairly reasonable request (and apparently others have before you) then it won't be a big deal.  My last "office" employer (Samsung) provided new electric riser desks and very high end ergo chairs when they built our new office space.   In the past Ericsson also had them for all office employees, but from what I hear they are moving to the "open" office concept -- makes me glad I left when I did.  (open office = as many as they can cram into "hot" desks and with private phone "booths" and nicer break areas)

I work from home now, bought a HermanMiller Embody chair and two 28" monitors for my laptop.  

Rubl said:   What kind of a form?
Personally, I'm not a fan of my employer having any medical information about me. A prescription should suffice for your HR, so I would question why they require you to disclose any additional medical information.

PS.  No PT prescribed?

  
Here is some wording from the 1st page:

Prudential Accommodation Medical Inquiry form

The ADA requires emp to extend reasonable accommodations to emp with a qualified disability to help perform essential job functions.
Examples of accommodations include assistive equipment (i.e., sit-stand workstation), job restructuring....

Then Page 2 ~ 5  must be filled out by Health Care or Rehab Prof. 

Finally, there is a job description of IT Professional which needs to be filed with Prudential..


 

yupkisama said:   
Rubl said:   What kind of a form?
Personally, I'm not a fan of my employer having any medical information about me. A prescription should suffice for your HR, so I would question why they require you to disclose any additional medical information.

PS.  No PT prescribed?

  
Here is some wording from the 1st page:

Prudential Accommodation Medical Inquiry form

The ADA requires emp to extend reasonable accommodations to emp with a qualified disability to help perform essential job functions.
Examples of accommodations include assistive equipment (i.e., sit-stand workstation), job restructuring....

Then Page 2 ~ 5  must be filled out by Health Care or Rehab Prof. 

Finally, there is a job description of IT Professional which needs to be filed with Prudential..


 

  
It sounds to me like the employer moved from "self-performing" accommodation to a third party provider.  It is just a paperwork shuffle -- but a third party wants to have ALL the documentation to be able to defend the employer if you were to later sue due to future issues.  It is the same way when I do contract work for a big shop -- the paperwork is much more boilerplate and needs more detail.  Get released for 31 days and when you go back they make you do every bit of it -- including the background (but not the drug screen, at least) check again.  Smaller firms without #$%# PITA separate "compliance" departments?  Yeah, they will send you back the next day after the recall.  I had 3 huge packets of scanned docs and one set of electronically signed docs for my previous shop.  I don't see going back there for SEVERAL reasons.  

My current one is MUCH more reasonable.  Just give them what they want -- I bet your doctor has seen that form before.

Just do the paperwork and celebrate the fact that you're now in a protected class.

Oh and take care of yourself, allow yourself to heal. Don't kill yourself for a business you don't own.

yupkisama said:   
Rubl said:   What kind of a form?
Personally, I'm not a fan of my employer having any medical information about me. A prescription should suffice for your HR, so I would question why they require you to disclose any additional medical information.

PS.  No PT prescribed?

  
Here is some wording from the 1st page:

Prudential Accommodation Medical Inquiry form

The ADA requires emp to extend reasonable accommodations to emp with a qualified disability to help perform essential job functions.
Examples of accommodations include assistive equipment (i.e., sit-stand workstation), job restructuring....

Then Page 2 ~ 5  must be filled out by Health Care or Rehab Prof. 

Finally, there is a job description of IT Professional which needs to be filed with Prudential..


 

  The easy way - ask your provider to be as vague as possible.  Provider does not need to specify Dx, just state "lower back pain" or whatever.  Provider should NOT provide any specifics for treatment information such as meds.  Tell your provider that you have a concern about HIPAA and not sure where these documents will be going and that should motivate them to be as vague and non-descriptive as possible. I've had to do it occasionally and made it so vague that no one could tell what the problem actually was, but the recommendation for work environment was very clear.



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