Do Health Insurers Consider Domestic Abuse a Pre-Existing Condition?

Between 1994, when the legality of using domestic violence as insurance underwriting criteria was first recognized, and 2008, 42 states passed legislation that specifically prohibits the practice. And a 2008 report by the National Women’s Law Center pointing out that 9 states and the District of Columbia still didn’t have such legislation spurred several state insurance commissioners to respond with surprise and, even more importantly, with action. Arkansas passed a law in April 2009, and, as of October 2009, 4 more states have taken up the issue in their state legislatures: North Carolina, Oklahoma, North Dakota, and Mississippi. Still, that leaves some stragglers: in Idaho, South Carolina, South Dakota, Wyoming, and the District of Columbia, it’s not illegal to call domestic violence a pre-existing condition.


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