Saturday, March 6, 2010

Cancer in the Workplace Resources

I attended the workshop entitled "Cancer in the Workplace" during the YSC Conference in Atlanta. I've been trying to write this post about it for nearly a week and find myself confused as to what to say. The lecture was extremely informative and I learned a lot.

Quite frankly, I learned that once my COBRA runs out, I'm kind of screwed if I haven't found a new job with medical insurance. I now have the dreaded "pre-existing condition" that makes insurance companies run the other way. I also learned that to disclose your illness is not always necessary, but in certain cases, such as getting an accommodation, it may be beneficial. It all comes down to your personal situation. I would highly recommend researching and speaking to an expert before making any decisions. For this reason, I've listed the links from the workshop handout below.

BTW, that's a picture of me (and cupcake) at the YSC 10th Anniversary closing celebration.



Gives workers and their families who lose their health benefits the right to choose to continue group health benefits provided by their group health plan for limited periods of time under certain circumstances such as voluntary or involuntary job loss, reduction in the hours worked, transition between jobs, death, divorce, and other life events.

US Department of Labor

Covered employers must grant employee up to a total of 12 workweeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period for certain reasons including medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of serious health condition or to care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, parent) with a serious health condition.

US Department of Labor

Workplace Fairness

Cancer and Careers

Cancer Legal Resource Center (CLRC)

Prohibits employment discrimination against persons with disabilities by qualified employers and requires those employers to provide reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities. The ADA also puts limits on the types of questions employers can ask job applicants and employees about their disabililty.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission - Q & A About Cancer in the Workplace

ADA Information Line

Job Accommodation Network


  1. Hi Deb - I sat at your table for the conference (my terrible manners - forgive my outburst on the Rep from Florida's presentation. I am a conservative anti-big govt person and I am completely passionate about health care improvements. Not what Obamacare offers, though. There are much better ways to make it happen). I am a pre-existing condition too. My husband is leaving his job (and group benefits) and we are going to have to split up the family to get me health care. Tom and the kids on private - me on the Texas state Insurance Risk Pool. It is designed exactly for people like me. I can get coverage - it is a Blue Cross/Blue Shield PPO so I will have the same doctors as I have now. It is only slighly more expensive than another plan and I am blessed to live in a state that has an answer to my problem. You may too - I think you live in NYC? Check out your state resources. Not all states have such a plan - but you may find out that you have more options than you think. (I am also a health and life insurance agent licensed in Texas).

  2. Hi Diane - Thanks so much for the info. Yes, I am in NYC and I'll definitely do the research to see if there are any NY State High Risk insurance options. It's great that you were able to find affordable coverage, but it's sad that you needed to "split up the family" to do so.