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Colorectal Cancer: Newly Diagnosed: Seeking Work (Stages 0,1)


Being newly diagnosed with colorectal cancer while seeking work adds a traumatic event to an already stressful endeavor.

Get treatment out of the way before continuing your job search so you won't have to take time off when first starting a new job.

It may be tempting to wait to get treatment after you get the new job -- especially if you do not have health insurance and are expecting to get it from a new job. 

With respect to the job you are seeking, keep the following in mind.

  • If you have health insurance:

    • Do not do anything that would affect your health insurance coverage for your existing situation.

    • If a new employer offers health insurance, thanks to a federal law known as HIPAA, if there is no gap in coverage greater than 62 days, the amount of time you had coverage is credited against a new waiting period. If you had your insurance long enough, there is no waiting period for coverage for your situation which is referred to as a "pre-existing condition."

  • If you do not have health insurance:

    • One of the options to get coverage is to look for an employer with health insurance without any, or with only a short, waiting period before a pre-existing health condition such as yours is covered.

    • The larger the employer, the more likely to have such coverage. For example, a government entity.
    • For additional information about obtaining health insurance, click here.
  • Physically, the only question about work is whether you can do the work now. What may happen to you in the future is not relevant.

  • A prospective employer cannot ask about your health condition thanks to the Americans With Disabilities Act and similar laws.

  • Experts counsel against disclosing your health condition until you are offered a job. Whether to tell after accepting the job is up to you.

For additional information about the above subjects, including how to act during the job interview, see the documents in "To Learn More."

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