Seek Mental Health Help, Negative Consequences and Adverse Actions in future Personal Finance matters?

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fatFIRE
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Seek Mental Health Help, Negative Consequences and Adverse Actions in future Personal Finance matters?

Post by fatFIRE » Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:21 pm

I'm thinking of seeking out some mental health professionals because it is a very stressful time like this. But I am very concerned of possible negativ consequences or adverse actions for future personal finance related matters.

I'll give a non mental health example. All your insurance examinations are reported to the MBB and all future insurance applications are checked against that. So once you are 'blacklisted' or 'marked', it's there forever. Medical confidentiality means nothing. The last time I applied for DI insurance, I had to give them access to my doctors and they started asking questions on simple things like when I went to the doctor when I had a bad cold over a year ago, why the prescribed this drug, what was it for, etc. Ultimately, I got approved, but I do not like how my medical information was used against me. I mean you always have a choice to say no, but then you don't get approved. On a side note, after that incident I now avoid doctors for mild sickness because I want to avoid records like this.

Ok... so same thing for mental health. Confidentiality is nonsense because in the situation that matters, you will have to waive your rights or give permissions. So, I wanted to know how much of a risk I am taking here, and how it's going to affect future personal finance related matters. Scenarios I foresee:
1) Future insurance applications. Oh, I see that you went for a few mental healthy therapy session. Denied. Pre-existing condition. Not talking about Obamacare-proof healthcare insurance but other insurance where insurers can deny you.
2) Current job. One of the resources I can use is provided by my employer, but I'm worried about data sharing. Even benign stuff like employee fatFIRE used up all his counselling resources for the year (don't even need to see the discussions during the sessions). But from this, he's clearly going through bad times, and we should fire him as he's clearly not productive. Of course you will say that's illegal, my counter-argument - you will never know and never be able to prove, so you can't even sue.
3) Future jobs. What else do they dig up on people's records when doing background check? If I were an employer and I see that this candidate has so many mental health visits, I would be less inclined to hire that person over a clean person (all other things equal). Again, illegal, but you can't prove it. After all, the clean health person was a better cultural fit for the team.

MrCastaway
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Re: Seek Mental Health Help, Negative Consequences and Adverse Actions in future Personal Finance matters?

Post by MrCastaway » Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:30 pm

I’d only be concerned about #1.

Lots of places let you pay out of pocket, perhaps let you use a pseudo name. As part of my term life insurance I saw the documentation from doctor regarding mine. Not that big of a deal... there more concerned about prescription history, recent diagnosis but still not a big deal to a lot of carriers. Independent agents are used to dealing with issues like this and can steer you towards best carriers.

Yes I think you are SOL and will get auto denied for disability insurance

Yes it’s unfair and sucks but is not worth not reaching out to someone.

Ultimately the better health you are in mentally the more productive and happy your going to be which will lead to more $ for you.

Additionally I’m not sure talking to a licensed counselor would require disclosure.
Last edited by MrCastaway on Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:44 pm, edited 7 times in total.

runner3081
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Re: Seek Mental Health Help, Negative Consequences and Adverse Actions in future Personal Finance matters?

Post by runner3081 » Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:32 pm

Reality is, your health (mental and/or physical) is more important that all of the downsides, financially and perception wise.


mega317
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Re: Seek Mental Health Help, Negative Consequences and Adverse Actions in future Personal Finance matters?

Post by mega317 » Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:38 pm

I guess I'll be person #3 who says a version of this: If you need mental health help you need to get it asap.

Employers don't get your medical history. I don't know where you came up with that.
https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6212

MrCastaway
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Re: Seek Mental Health Help, Negative Consequences and Adverse Actions in future Personal Finance matters?

Post by MrCastaway » Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:39 pm

UpperNwGuy wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:32 pm
What is MBB?
Database used by all insurers will records of previous applications for insurers. It’s very coded but still descriptive enough for other insurers to use against you.

BruDude
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Re: Seek Mental Health Help, Negative Consequences and Adverse Actions in future Personal Finance matters?

Post by BruDude » Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:45 pm

UpperNwGuy wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:32 pm
What is MBB?
OP is referring to the MIB, Medical Information Bureau. It's a central database used by insurers to catch red flags in someone's medical history and prompt further investigation if applying for certain types of insurance.

OP - yes it will impact insurance applications, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't get whatever help you need. Health first, other things second.

UpperNwGuy
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Re: Seek Mental Health Help, Negative Consequences and Adverse Actions in future Personal Finance matters?

Post by UpperNwGuy » Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:46 pm

Ahhh.... now I understand. When my marriage was falling apart 20+ years ago, my wife insisted that we do our marriage counseling with a psychiatrist rather than a normal marriage counselor. As a person with a security clearance, I didn't want my medical records to show any association with a psychiatrist, so I insisted that my ex-wife be listed as the patient, and I simply attended the sessions. Seems like I made a good decision.

Topic Author
fatFIRE
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Re: Seek Mental Health Help, Negative Consequences and Adverse Actions in future Personal Finance matters?

Post by fatFIRE » Thu Mar 26, 2020 7:17 pm

UpperNwGuy wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:32 pm
What is MBB?
Sorry, I meant MIB. Basically a medical database that is shared amongst insurance company with flags of any pre-existing conditions that you have.

simas
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Re: Seek Mental Health Help, Negative Consequences and Adverse Actions in future Personal Finance matters?

Post by simas » Thu Mar 26, 2020 7:19 pm

#4 person who says that your health is FAR MORE IMPORTANT then any possible adverse actions in some weird future scenario.

or put another way, if you blow your brains out because you failed to treat real depression out of concern for potential future insurance applications , I have nothing but pity for you.

seek help, get help.
Last edited by simas on Thu Mar 26, 2020 7:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

psy1
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Re: Seek Mental Health Help, Negative Consequences and Adverse Actions in future Personal Finance matters?

Post by psy1 » Thu Mar 26, 2020 7:23 pm

Pay cash out of pocket.

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TheGreyingDuke
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Re: Seek Mental Health Help, Negative Consequences and Adverse Actions in future Personal Finance matters?

Post by TheGreyingDuke » Thu Mar 26, 2020 7:45 pm

As a mental health clinician, I share your concern. If you need help, get it! Pay cash if you can and then there is no trace (or little trace).
"Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race." H.G. Wells

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F150HD
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Re: Seek Mental Health Help, Negative Consequences and Adverse Actions in future Personal Finance matters?

Post by F150HD » Thu Mar 26, 2020 8:50 pm

OP has valid points. I always fear the questions they ask for simple 'wellness programs' and where that data goes.

Lord forbid you state you smoked a cigarette X years ago (in college) or that you do not eat X servings of vegetables each day and that affects a life insurance claim way down the road of life. Who knows.

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Re: Seek Mental Health Help, Negative Consequences and Adverse Actions in future Personal Finance matters?

Post by BruDude » Thu Mar 26, 2020 9:11 pm

TheGreyingDuke wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 7:45 pm
As a mental health clinician, I share your concern. If you need help, get it! Pay cash if you can and then there is no trace (or little trace).
Then you would still have to lie on your insurance application when they ask whether you've seen any doctors or mental health providers in the last 10 years...

I'm not sure exactly how MIB gets their information, but paying cash doesn't necessarily stop the MIB report.

123
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Re: Seek Mental Health Help, Negative Consequences and Adverse Actions in future Personal Finance matters?

Post by 123 » Thu Mar 26, 2020 9:24 pm

BruDude wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 9:11 pm
... but paying cash doesn't necessarily stop the MIB report.
An individual paying cash would have the ability to use an alternate name/identity/address to seek help without that fact being connected to his/her actual identity.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

Pencilskirt
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Re: Seek Mental Health Help, Negative Consequences and Adverse Actions in future Personal Finance matters?

Post by Pencilskirt » Thu Mar 26, 2020 9:53 pm

#1 is possible.

I sought counseling for an extraordinary event that occurred a few years ago. It was necessary and the right thing to do. I even feel that it was proactive to address it with counseling rather than to ignore it.

But I was denied life insurance because of it. I’ve always lived a very low risk lifestyle and this was a one in a million kind of thing that happened.

If your issue could be addressed by an anonymous support group such as Al-Anon, Adult Children, etc ( there are many) that would be an untraceable option.

rjbraun
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Re: Seek Mental Health Help, Negative Consequences and Adverse Actions in future Personal Finance matters?

Post by rjbraun » Thu Mar 26, 2020 10:02 pm

123 wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 9:24 pm
BruDude wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 9:11 pm
... but paying cash doesn't necessarily stop the MIB report.
An individual paying cash would have the ability to use an alternate name/identity/address to seek help without that fact being connected to his/her actual identity.
Maybe, but I would be careful to read the fine print on the insurance paperwork. Presumably there may be language about any misrepresentations, etc. resulting in denial of coverage. Would hate to be denied coverage, especially after having paid a lot in premiums. Also, would think that in such a scenario it could be game over for qualifying for any future coverage as other insurers could learn of the past history of misconduct.

Nowizard
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Re: Seek Mental Health Help, Negative Consequences and Adverse Actions in future Personal Finance matters?

Post by Nowizard » Thu Mar 26, 2020 10:06 pm

As a retired Clinical Psychologist who supervised EAP programs for many years, I can tell you that confidentiality was essentially perfect in terms of employers being aware of specific employees seeking services. In over 20 years, one employee accessed a client's file without cause and was terminated. By definition, EAP's provide services not requiring a "Higher level of care," meaning short-term treatment. They use no clinical diagnoses and it would be the client's choice whether to disclose service. I can assure you that your employer does not receive names of those using the service but does receive generic data on things like number of clients served and total sessions provided. Disclosures would be HIPPA violations which are taken very seriously and can lead to loss of necessary accreditation. If your employer has a very small number of employees, I suppose he/she might "guess" who sought services, though I don't know why that would ever occur. Employers who have EAP programs are almost always eager to keep employees and recognize that the programs aid that. Also, any non-mental health professional would likely be amazed at the number of people known in their communities that have sought services within EAP's and at a higher level of care.

Tim

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Re: Seek Mental Health Help, Negative Consequences and Adverse Actions in future Personal Finance matters?

Post by BruDude » Thu Mar 26, 2020 10:10 pm

123 wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 9:24 pm
BruDude wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 9:11 pm
... but paying cash doesn't necessarily stop the MIB report.
An individual paying cash would have the ability to use an alternate name/identity/address to seek help without that fact being connected to his/her actual identity.
Then you’d be lying to the doctor, and you would still have to lie to the insurance company. That would be insurance fraud, which could be easily proven if you had intentionally sought care under a fake name and then lied about being treated for it by covering it up with the fake identity. Bad idea.

Dude2
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Re: Seek Mental Health Help, Negative Consequences and Adverse Actions in future Personal Finance matters?

Post by Dude2 » Thu Mar 26, 2020 10:18 pm

Interesting thread. One comment on the using a fake name approach. I don't see how you pick up a prescription at the pharmacy that was called in under your fake name.

I work at a large defense contractor mega corp, and historically all of our employees have been under the guidance to never seek mental health treatments as it would affect their security clearances. As a result, you hear anecdotally that Prozac (for example) is the number one prescribed medication by GPs at the company medical facility.

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Re: Seek Mental Health Help, Negative Consequences and Adverse Actions in future Personal Finance matters?

Post by cashboy » Fri Mar 27, 2020 10:42 am

OP,

if you are asking

if it is better to get treatment and potentially risk some financial problem,

or

if it is better to not get treatment so that you do not risk some financial problem,

only you can 'gauge' that by the 'impact' of your issues; consider making a decision based on that - not on some possible future impact.

'invest' in your 'current' self.

good luck to you.
Three-Fund Portfolio: FSPSX - FXAIX - FXNAX (with slight tilt of CDs - CASH - Canned Beans - Rice - Bottled Water)

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Re: Seek Mental Health Help, Negative Consequences and Adverse Actions in future Personal Finance matters?

Post by junior » Fri Mar 27, 2020 11:49 am

If going to a mental health provider would cause problems you'd be able to find articles in the news about insurance rates going up for people seeking mental health. I strongly suspect there are no such articles.

Unless you are imagining some sort of social change that causes such a problem in the future, well you can always imagine something bad happening in the future, and I wouldn't act on such fear.

mega317
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Re: Seek Mental Health Help, Negative Consequences and Adverse Actions in future Personal Finance matters?

Post by mega317 » Fri Mar 27, 2020 12:01 pm

junior wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 11:49 am
If going to a mental health provider would cause problems you'd be able to find articles in the news about insurance rates going up for people seeking mental health. I strongly suspect there are no such articles.
https://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyl ... story.html
Anyone with a history of depression, an old smoking habit, or a chronic condition like diabetes could be at a serious disadvantage in paying for health care
They're all over the place. (OP correctly specified not ACA.) It's hard to get too deep into this conversation or find many recent new stories without risking getting into politics.
https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6212

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Artful Dodger
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Re: Seek Mental Health Help, Negative Consequences and Adverse Actions in future Personal Finance matters?

Post by Artful Dodger » Fri Mar 27, 2020 12:05 pm

junior wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 11:49 am
If going to a mental health provider would cause problems you'd be able to find articles in the news about insurance rates going up for people seeking mental health. I strongly suspect there are no such articles.

Unless you are imagining some sort of social change that causes such a problem in the future, well you can always imagine something bad happening in the future, and I wouldn't act on such fear.

Before the ACA, individual health policies were routinely denied if there was a history of mental health care. Right now, individual disability policies and life insurance policies can be denied outright or rated up if there is a history of mental health care.

The initial reason for and type of care does make a difference. Long history of depression, bi-polar, etc with meds will have greater consequences than a situation / episode of care like the OP is asking or some recent traumatic event like a death in the family / grief issues.

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Re: Seek Mental Health Help, Negative Consequences and Adverse Actions in future Personal Finance matters?

Post by mlipps » Fri Mar 27, 2020 12:10 pm

I think this thread just adds to misconceptions in some way. I do know that seeking counseling or having certain diagnoses can impact security clearance, but for ordinary employment 1. Your employer has no access to that information, through a background check or any other means 2. Any employer that would hire someone else instead of me because I see a therapist as needed is an employer I would be happy to NOT work for.

As a younger person, I see perceptions changing. I think our generation understands better than older ones that it's ok to seek help & that someone is not damaged for needing therapy or having a mental health condition. It's absolutely insane and heartbreaking to me that the OP thinks they would hire an employee who had not received counseling over one who had. Who is a better employee, the one who suffers a traumatic event & processes it with the help of a professional, or the one who suffers in silence and carries that with them for the rest of their lives?

OP, if you need help, get it, and I hope through that process you come to a new understanding of the value of counseling, and erase some of the negative connotations that has had to you in the past.

mega317
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Re: Seek Mental Health Help, Negative Consequences and Adverse Actions in future Personal Finance matters?

Post by mega317 » Fri Mar 27, 2020 1:30 pm

mlipps wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 12:10 pm
As a younger person, I see perceptions changing. I think our generation understands better than older ones that it's ok to seek help & that someone is not damaged for needing therapy or having a mental health condition. It's absolutely insane and heartbreaking to me that the OP thinks they would hire an employee who had not received counseling over one who had. Who is a better employee, the one who suffers a traumatic event & processes it with the help of a professional, or the one who suffers in silence and carries that with them for the rest of their lives?
The problem is that the understanding younger generation is not typically the one doing the hiring.
https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6212

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Re: Seek Mental Health Help, Negative Consequences and Adverse Actions in future Personal Finance matters?

Post by mc126 » Fri Mar 27, 2020 1:52 pm

I agree with the above posters. See someone if you need to. I am a psychologist and really don't see this being an issue for most posters. However, if you are really concerned about insurance and future coverage, there are many mental health professionals that also provide "life coaching" to avoid all of the insurance reimbursement hoops. They don't deal with serious mental health issues, but focus more on life events, stressors and planning.

You would pay the "life coach" yourself and would not technically be a medical/mental health service that you would have to report when applying for coverage. Some of these folks even provide services online via video conferencing so it would be easier to schedule/attend without worrying about confidentially.

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Re: Seek Mental Health Help, Negative Consequences and Adverse Actions in future Personal Finance matters?

Post by mlipps » Fri Mar 27, 2020 3:01 pm

mega317 wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 1:30 pm
mlipps wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 12:10 pm
As a younger person, I see perceptions changing. I think our generation understands better than older ones that it's ok to seek help & that someone is not damaged for needing therapy or having a mental health condition. It's absolutely insane and heartbreaking to me that the OP thinks they would hire an employee who had not received counseling over one who had. Who is a better employee, the one who suffers a traumatic event & processes it with the help of a professional, or the one who suffers in silence and carries that with them for the rest of their lives?
The problem is that the understanding younger generation is not typically the one doing the hiring.
Really? I'm in my 30's, most people in my cohort are managers or directors. Millennials aren't teenagers anymore and we have a very different outlook on this issue than our parents did.

mega317
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Re: Seek Mental Health Help, Negative Consequences and Adverse Actions in future Personal Finance matters?

Post by mega317 » Fri Mar 27, 2020 3:05 pm

Most people who make the personel decisions in my specific field are 60s. I shouldn't have implied it's the same everywhere.
https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6212

siriusblack
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Re: Seek Mental Health Help, Negative Consequences and Adverse Actions in future Personal Finance matters?

Post by siriusblack » Fri Mar 27, 2020 3:37 pm

fatFIRE wrote:
Thu Mar 26, 2020 4:21 pm
I'm thinking of seeking out some mental health professionals because it is a very stressful time like this. But I am very concerned of possible negativ consequences or adverse actions for future personal finance related matters.

I'll give a non mental health example. All your insurance examinations are reported to the MBB and all future insurance applications are checked against that. So once you are 'blacklisted' or 'marked', it's there forever. Medical confidentiality means nothing. The last time I applied for DI insurance, I had to give them access to my doctors and they started asking questions on simple things like when I went to the doctor when I had a bad cold over a year ago, why the prescribed this drug, what was it for, etc. Ultimately, I got approved, but I do not like how my medical information was used against me. I mean you always have a choice to say no, but then you don't get approved. On a side note, after that incident I now avoid doctors for mild sickness because I want to avoid records like this.

Ok... so same thing for mental health. Confidentiality is nonsense because in the situation that matters, you will have to waive your rights or give permissions. So, I wanted to know how much of a risk I am taking here, and how it's going to affect future personal finance related matters. Scenarios I foresee:
1) Future insurance applications. Oh, I see that you went for a few mental healthy therapy session. Denied. Pre-existing condition. Not talking about Obamacare-proof healthcare insurance but other insurance where insurers can deny you.
2) Current job. One of the resources I can use is provided by my employer, but I'm worried about data sharing. Even benign stuff like employee fatFIRE used up all his counselling resources for the year (don't even need to see the discussions during the sessions). But from this, he's clearly going through bad times, and we should fire him as he's clearly not productive. Of course you will say that's illegal, my counter-argument - you will never know and never be able to prove, so you can't even sue.
3) Future jobs. What else do they dig up on people's records when doing background check? If I were an employer and I see that this candidate has so many mental health visits, I would be less inclined to hire that person over a clean person (all other things equal). Again, illegal, but you can't prove it. After all, the clean health person was a better cultural fit for the team.
I would highly recommend that you take advantage of mental health services-- There are some truly awesome resources that they bring to the table. CBT is highly effective at treating anxiety/worry/stress in particular. It has a very high success rate, and it's worth the cost (both monetary and other).

On #1, I'm not sure about health insurance, but I believe for life insurance purposes, mental health therapy does not change the risk category.

On #2, I don't think there is much reason to be concerned. At least speaking for my own company-- HR does not suggest names of people to eliminate based on their own independent research on people's records, and managers do not see this kind of information from HR. Decisions about layoffs etc. are based on performance and business needs (and candidly these are easily/often confused with a person's likability in many cases).

On #3, I think HR does background checks primarily to identify criminal background and other similar risks. I highly doubt they look at medical information but I could be wrong. (I believe it would also be illegal. My HR group is very strict with managers in my company about avoiding discriminatory interview questions. I'm not even allowed to ask a single personal question in an interview. Where are you from? What part of town are you in? Do you have kids? etc. None of those are allowed at all.)

quantAndHold
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Re: Seek Mental Health Help, Negative Consequences and Adverse Actions in future Personal Finance matters?

Post by quantAndHold » Fri Mar 27, 2020 3:54 pm

OP. Get the help you need, worry about the rest of it later. This is a tough time for everyone, and we all need to take care of ourselves.

If you’re working for someone else, your company probably has an employee assistance program (EAP) that will give you something like 3 visits with a counselor. For free, no insurance involved. Your company won’t find out that you went. If you need more than that (a lot of people don’t), they can then refer you on for appropriate care.

A few visits with a counselor isn’t going to affect your insurance or job prospects. Letting a small problem spiral out of control and doing something stupid as a result, though, would be a bad idea that could affect the rest of your life.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.

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