2011 Florida Statutes
Medical tests for HIV infection and AIDS for insurance purposes.
Medical tests for HIV infection and AIDS for insurance purposes.
627.429 Medical tests for HIV infection and AIDS for insurance purposes.—
(1) PURPOSE.—The purpose of this section is to prohibit unfair practices in the underwriting of insurance with respect to exposure to the human immunodeficiency virus infection and related matters, and thereby to reduce the possibility that a person may suffer unfair discrimination when purchasing insurance.
(a) This section applies to all insurance policies, and the underwriting thereof, which are issued in this state or are issued outside this state pursuant to s. 627.5515 or s. 627.6515 covering residents of this state; to prepaid limited health organizations; and to multiple-employer welfare arrangements defined in s. 624.437. For the purposes of this section, “insurer” includes authorized multiple-employer welfare arrangements.
(b) This section does not prohibit an insurer from contesting a policy or claim to the extent allowed by law.
(3) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section:
(a) “AIDS” means acquired immune deficiency syndrome.
(b) “ARC” means AIDS-related complex.
(c) “HIV” means the human immunodeficiency virus identified as the causative agent of AIDS.
(4) USE OF MEDICAL TESTS FOR UNDERWRITING.—
(a) With respect to the issuance of or the underwriting of a policy regarding exposure to the HIV infection and sickness or medical conditions derived from HIV infection, the insurer may use only medical tests that are reliable predictors of risk. A test which is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or by the federal Food and Drug Administration is reliable for the purposes of this section. A test which is rejected or not recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the federal Food and Drug Administration is not reliable for the purposes of this section. If a specific test recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the federal Food and Drug Administration indicates the existence or potential existence of exposure to the HIV infection or a sickness or medical condition related to the HIV infection, the insurer shall, before relying on a single test result to deny or limit coverage or to rate the coverage, follow the applicable Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or federal Food and Drug Administration recommended test protocol and shall use any applicable followup tests or series of tests recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or federal Food and Drug Administration to confirm the indication.
(b) Prior to testing, the insurer shall disclose its intent to test the person for the HIV infection or for a specific sickness or medical condition derived therefrom and shall obtain the person’s written informed consent to administer the test. The written informed consent required by this paragraph shall include a fair explanation of the test, including its purpose, potential uses, and limitations, and the meaning of its results and the right to confidential treatment of information. Use of a form approved by the office raises a conclusive presumption of informed consent.
(c) An applicant shall be notified of a positive test result by a physician designated by the applicant or, in the absence of such designation, by the Department of Health. Notification must include all of the following:
1. Face-to-face posttest counseling on the meaning of the test results, the possible need for additional testing, and the need to eliminate behavior which might spread the disease to others.
2. The availability in the person’s geographic area of any appropriate health care services, including mental health care, and appropriate social and support services.
3. The benefits of locating and counseling any individual by whom the infected individual may have been exposed to human immunodeficiency virus and any individual whom the infected individual may have exposed to the virus.
4. The availability, if any, of the services of public health authorities with respect to locating and counseling any individual described in subparagraph 3.
(d) A medical test for exposure to the HIV infection or for a sickness or medical condition derived from such infection may be required of or given to a person only if the test is based on the person’s current medical condition or medical history or if the test is triggered by threshold coverage amounts which apply to all persons within the risk class. Sexual orientation may not be used in the underwriting process or in the determination of which applicants shall be tested for exposure to the HIV infection. The marital status, living arrangements, occupation, gender, beneficiary designation, or zip code or other territorial classification of an applicant may not be used to establish the applicant’s sexual orientation.
(e) An insurer may inquire whether a person has been tested positive for exposure to the HIV infection or been diagnosed as having ARC or AIDS caused by the HIV infection or other sickness or condition derived from such infection. An insurer may not inquire whether the person has been tested for or has received a negative result from a specific test for exposure to the HIV infection or for a sickness or a medical condition derived from such infection.
(f) Insurers shall maintain strict confidentiality regarding medical test results with respect to exposure to the HIV infection or a specific sickness or medical condition derived from such exposure. The insurer may not disclose information regarding specific test results outside of the insurance company or its employees, insurance affiliates, agents, or reinsurers, except to the person tested and to persons designated in writing by the person tested. The insurer may not furnish specific test results for exposure to the HIV infection to an insurer industry data bank if a review of the information would identify the individual and the specific test results.
(g) A laboratory may be used by an insurer or insurance support organization for the processing of HIV-related tests only if it is certified by the United States Department of Health and Human Services under the Clinical Laboratories Improvement Act of 1967, permitting testing of specimens obtained in interstate commerce, and only if the laboratory subjects itself to ongoing proficiency testing by the College of American Pathologists, the American Association of Bio Analysts, or an equivalent program approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
(5) RESTRICTIONS ON COVERAGE EXCLUSIONS AND LIMITATIONS.—
(a) An insurer of a group policy may not exclude coverage of an eligible individual because of a positive test result for exposure to the HIV infection or a specific sickness or medical condition derived from such exposure, either as a condition for or subsequent to the issuance of the policy. This paragraph does not apply to individuals applying for coverage where individual underwriting is otherwise allowed by law.
(b) Subject to the total benefits limits in a health insurance policy, no health insurance policy shall contain an exclusion or limitation with respect to coverage for exposure to the HIV infection or a specific sickness or medical condition derived from such infection, except as provided in a preexisting condition clause. This paragraph does not prohibit the issuance of accident-only or specified disease health policies.
(c) Except for preexisting conditions specifically applying to a sickness or medical condition of the insured, benefits under a life insurance policy shall not be denied or limited based on the fact that the insured’s death was caused, directly or indirectly, by exposure to the HIV infection or a specific sickness or medical condition derived from such infection. This paragraph does not prohibit the issuance of accidental death only or specified disease policies.
(d) Any major medical or comprehensive accident and health policy for which individual underwriting is authorized by law may contain a provision excluding coverage for expenses related to AIDS or ARC if, in the opinion of a legally qualified physician, the insured, prior to the first anniversary of the insured’s coverage under the policy, first exhibited objective manifestations of AIDS or ARC, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which objective manifestations are attributable to no other cause or was diagnosed as having AIDS or ARC if all of the following apply:
1. The applicant for the policy is not required to submit to any medical test for HIV infection.
2. The policy provision:
a. Is set forth separately from the other exclusion and limitation provisions of the policy.
b. Has an appropriate caption or heading.
c. Is disclosed and referenced in a conspicuous manner on the policy data page.
d. Contains a statement that the exclusion will not apply to any person if the insurer does not assert the defense before the person has been insured under the policy for 2 years.
3. The insurer must notify the insured in writing of a determination that the insured would be subject to the effect of the exclusion within 90 days after the insurer first determines that an insured would be subject to the effect of the exclusion, even if there are no claims for AIDS or ARC. Failure to provide timely written notice under this subparagraph bars the insurer from using the exclusion.
4. Objective manifestations of AIDS or ARC first exhibited after the 12-month manifestation period must be covered the same as any other illness.
History.—ss. 47, 53, ch. 88-380; s. 13, ch. 89-350; ss. 110, 114, ch. 92-318; s. 8, ch. 97-93; s. 259, ch. 99-8; s. 9, ch. 2000-370; s. 1125, ch. 2003-261.