Unfair Discrimination Against Subjects of Abuse in Health Benefit Plans Act

SECTION 27-60-4

§ 27-60-4. Unfairly discriminatory acts relating to health benefit plans.

The following acts are prohibited as unfairly discriminatory:

(1) Denying, refusing to issue, renew or reissue, canceling or terminating a health benefit plan, or restricting or excluding health benefit plan coverage or adding a premium differential to any health benefit plan on the basis of the applicant's or insured's abuse status;

(2) Excluding or limiting coverage for losses or denying a claim incurred by an insured as a result of abuse on the basis of the insured's abuse status;

(3) Terminating group coverage for a subject of abuse because coverage was originally issued in the name of the abuser and the abuser has divorced, separated from, or lost custody of the subject of abuse, or the abuser's coverage has terminated voluntarily or involuntarily. Nothing in this subsection prohibits the health carrier from requiring the subject of abuse to pay the full premium for coverage under the health plan or from requiring as a condition of coverage that the subject of abuse reside or work within its service area, if the requirements are applied to all insured of the health carrier. The health carrier may terminate group coverage after the continuation coverage required by this subsection has been in force for eighteen (18) months, and the health carrier shall offer conversion to an equivalent individual plan providing the conversion plan already exists and is offered to all the insured of the health carrier. The continuation coverage required by this section shall be satisfied by coverage required under P.L. 99-272, the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) of 1985, provided to a subject of abuse and is not intended to be in addition to coverage provided under COBRA; or

(4) Disclosure or transfer by a person employed by or contracting with a health carrier of any information relating to a person's abuse status, a person's medical condition which the health carrier knows or has reason to know is abuse-related or a person's family, household, social or employment relationship with a subject of abuse, except to the extent necessary for the direct provision of health care services, compliance with abuse reporting laws or compliance with an order of the commissioner or a court of competent jurisdiction. This subsection shall not preclude a subject of abuse from obtaining his or her own medical records. This subsection shall not be construed to prohibit a health carrier from asking an applicant or insured about a medical condition, even if the condition is abuse-related, or using information obtained for the purpose of acts or practices permitted by this chapter. A subject of abuse may provide evidence of abuse to a health carrier for the limited purpose of facilitating treatment of an abuse-related condition or demonstrating that a medical condition is abuse-related, and this section shall not be construed as authorizing the health carrier to disregard that information.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1997, ch. 163, § 1.)