TITLE 23
Health and Safety

CHAPTER 23-6.3
Prevention and Suppression of Contagious Diseases – HIV/AIDS

SECTION 23-6.3-16


§ 23-6.3-16 Insurance exemption.

(a) Sections 23-6.3-1 – 23-6.3-14 do not apply to the offering or sale of life insurance in Rhode Island; provided, however, that any insurance company offering or selling life insurance within Rhode Island that requires an individual to be tested for infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or any other identified causative agent of HIV for purposes of determining insurability shall: (1) Give that individual prior written notice of those requirements; (2) Proceed with that testing only upon the written authorization of the individual or in the event the individual is a minor, the individual's parent or guardian; and (3) Notify the tested person of his or her positive or negative test results. If the person has a positive test result he or she must receive appropriate information and referral from the insurance company. Notwithstanding anything in this chapter to the contrary, life insurance companies offering or selling life insurance in Rhode Island may otherwise obtain or disclose HIV test results in accordance with this chapter. Nothing in this chapter prohibits that company from collecting data for statistical purposes, so long as the insured is not identified. However, nothing in this section shall be construed to permit that insurance company to cancel or refuse to renew a life insurance policy that by its terms has not lapsed on the basis of a positive HIV test result.

(b) The provisions of this chapter apply to the offer or sale of health benefits in this state by any company regulated under the laws of this state, including, but not limited to, title 27 and chapter 42-62, provided, however, this chapter does not apply to the following:

(1) Individual health benefit policies;

(2) Small group health benefits plans, i.e., groups having fewer than twenty-five (25) employees eligible to participate in an employer sponsored plan, or, in the case of non-employer groups, a group having fewer than twenty-five (25) employees;

(3) Late entrants into any group health benefits plan, regardless of the size of the group. A late entrant shall be defined as any individual who does not enroll into a health plan when first eligible under the plan, but who later seeks coverage under the group plan;

(4) Where an individual seeks to become eligible for an amount of group disability income benefit, which benefit would be in excess of the insurer's non-medical maximum as defined under the group plan.

(c) Any company offering or selling health benefits in this state and regulated under the laws of this state that requires an individual to be tested for infection with HIV or any other identified causative agent of HIV as permitted in paragraphs (2)(i) to (iv) for purposes of determining insurability shall: (1) Give that individual prior written notice of those requirements; and (2) Proceed with that testing only upon the written authorization of the individual, or in the event the individual is a minor, the individual's parent or guardian. Notwithstanding anything in this chapter to the contrary, companies offering or selling health benefits in this state may otherwise obtain or disclose HIV test results in accordance with this chapter. Nothing in this chapter shall prohibit that company from collecting data for statistical purposes so long as the identity of the insured may not be determined from the information released.

(d) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to permit any company that offers or sells health benefits in this state to cancel or refuse to renew a health benefit, which has not by its terms lapsed, on the basis of a positive HIV test result.

History of Section.
(P.L. 2009, ch. 196, § 1; P.L. 2009, ch. 289, § 1.)