California Department of Insurance has been looking into cases of
well-known insurance companies charging higher, limiting or denying
life, long-term care and disability policies to persons who used the
HIV-prevention medication Truvada.
to the agency, doing so means the insurance companies are in
violation of the law due to their discriminatory practices.
agency’s spokesman did not list any specific insurance companies
but noted that it was common practice of denying policies to
individuals who had used the medication, which is also called PrEP.
This is why the agency felt it was time to send out a notice across
Kenslea with the AIDS Healthcare Foundation said he’s not surprised
by the agency’s findings. The organization has been well aware of
the insurance companies’ discrimination practice. He said the move
is wrong because people should not be punished for trying to protect
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates there are 11
million people in the U.S. with HIV. In 2017, there were over 38,000
new cases. According to information from the CDC, when the PrEP is
taken every day, the medication can greatly reduce the risk of
the department’s initial findings and warning, many insurers have
claimed to stop the discriminatory practice. However, the agency is
doing follow-ups to ensure this is indeed happening.
department spokesman said embracing PrEP is a key way in preventing
the spread of HIV, which is why there should be no barriers for
people who want to use it. He said there is even greater urgency as
the federal government recently demanded health insurance companies
to provide the drug to policyholders for free – all in the effort
to reduce the speed in which HIV is spread.
Council of Life Insurance Regional Vice President John Mangan said
the organization was made aware of the concerns the state’s
insurance commissioner has and companies are continuously looking
over their practices to maintain their compliance with the state’s
Kenslea said he’s happy to see the state stepping into to hold these companies accountable, but doesn’t think the practice will end against people who use PrEP. He said it’s putting faith in these companies that they’ll do the right thing.