When you answer a doctor's question, the doctor patient privilege, does not exist...it is not like a lawyer client relationship, where the lawyer cannot be forced to divulge what you tell your lawyer.
What you think might be an innocent answer to a doctor's question can have serious consequences for you... my advice to you would be not to joke, with your doctor because once something is in your medical record it is extremely difficult if not impossible to remove... even if you were jesting in response to a doctor's question.
Recently a good friend of mine applied for long-term care insurance along with his wife.
Much to his surprise his wife was accepted and he was rejected... he inquired why to the insurance company and the insurance company said that his medical record contained a mention of memory loss.
As far as the insurance companies are concerned any mention of dementia or Alzheimer's disease will disqualify you from getting long-term care health insurance.
His rejection was due to an innocent remark that he made to his doctor during a routine physical.
My friend found out that indeed a mention of memory loss was placed into his doctors records from his last physical.
The doctor asked my friend, who is 70, and has no symptoms of dementia whatsoever, the innocent question..." How is your memory?".
My friend replied..." Well you know sometimes I go to a room in my house and wonder what it was that I came into the room for."
I ask you, doesn't something like that happen to everyone, especially when we are busy... we may hesitate and ask ourselves why did I go to the garage... or why did I come into the kitchen for?
It happens every day, at least in my case.
When my friend discuss the situation with his doctor, and told him that he made an innocent remark, and has no serious memory problems whatsoever... his doctor agreed to write a letter to the insurance company stating that his response to, " How is your memory?" was a flippant one and not to be taken seriously.
Care to guess what effect this had on the insurance company?
Absolutely nothing, once something is in your medical record it is there for ever.
Insurance companies have very little sense of humor.
You should always keep in mind that everything you tell your doctor, especially about your memory, should be answered honestly and not in a joking manner.
I am not suggesting that you mislead your doctor if indeed you do have any type of condition that could be considered dementia related.
Just be aware that the "privilege", does not exist when it comes to trying to get the best insurance coverage for you your family.
This is what I recommend you do if you are looking for the cheapest health insurance... without divulging your phone number... you can make your own decision without help from a salesperson.