Have you "outed" your medical conditions to an employer?

Hey folks - this is for the show, so note that, though I use forum names not real names. This isn’t just for Americans since even in places with more logical health care, you may still need to navigate this conversation with your employers.

We’re talking about figuring out health insurance when you are looking at job offers. If you need specific health care - cancer screenings, insulin, biologicals, trans* care, ART, PrEP - have you ever brought it up in the job negotiation process?

Have you asked for details on the health care plan to see if you would be covered? Did you “out” yourself?

Have you ever turned down a job because the health care plan wouldn’t cover your needs? If you have a disability and will need use of flex-time for appts or flare ups, how did you navigate that convo?

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I had dysmenorrhoea when I first started working (painful periods). I had to take off at least 1 day a month. I didn’t know all the questions to ask at the time of hiring, but it was still scary when I had to go to my manager after I realised I was going to need regular but slightly unpredictable days off work. Then I had to have the conversation all over again after I was diagnosed with anxiety and couldn’t work full time. I definitely looked up as much on their HR systems as I could before talking to him. When I go for a new job, I’ll be asking around to find someone who already works wherever I’m applying for to find out what the team and HR systems are like.

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I’ve been on the hiring manager side of this, at a large company whose HQ/HR were in a different state. We ran pretty lean staff so it was sometimes quite tricky to work out schedules that were fair during extended leaves.

This was pre-ACA and just before we switched to a mandated HDHP/HSA plan. Negotiating intermittent leave for my new hire was very straightforward, thankfully, even though she did not yet have a diagnosis.

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I did not disclose fertility treatments at two different employers.

I did disclose my two year old child’s cerebral palsy diagnosis to my boss, I actually told her before I told my mom (she’s good people and telling someone with workplace boundaries providing structure to the conversation made it easier and good practice for telling family). There’s only two people that do my job so I wanted her to have some context for long term schedule flexibility. It’s paid off for the company, that flexibility is one of the biggest things keeping me at my current job.

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