In many instances, the answer depends upon the specifics of each situation. But we can clarify a few things, especially regarding HIPAA and disability, short- and long-term.
HIPAA and Disability – The Rules
If your healthcare provider files claims electronically with an insurance company, they must follow HIPAA Rules and Regulations. That means a doctor can share medical information about you with another healthcare provider for treatment purposes without your consent, or with your health insurance company for billing purposes without your consent.
However, if you are trying to purchase life insurance, disability insurance, or long-term care insurance as an individual, it’s a virtual certainty that you have signed a consent form that permits your doctor to send your PHI (protected health information) to that company. Signing the consent form waives your rights under HIPAA. Not signing the consent form means you wont get insurance.
FYI, it’s likely the information you authorize to be shared with the life insurance company will also be sent to a company like MIB, Inc. (formerly known as Medical Information Bureau) which is one of the largest underwriting organizations in the U.S.. They perform risk assessment services for many major insurers, and they keep those records for seven years. Remember that you consented to it when you applied for the individual policy.