Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
New York Fines Insurance Company for Failing to Get Consent Prior to HIV Testing
American General Life Insurance Corp. of New York, a subsidiary of American General Corp., has been fined $60,000 by the state of New York for failing to obtain written consent from prospective clients before requiring them to take HIV tests, the Syracuse
Post-Standard reports. The state Insurance Department uncovered the discrepancies during a review of files dated between 1995 and 1998. Eleven percent of those files did not contain consent forms or contained consent forms that had not been signed or dated before testing, department spokesperson Terri Marchon said. In some cases the consent forms had been signed after the tests were complete. Under state law, insurers can require HIV tests before issuing a life or health policy, but they must fulfill "objective underwriting criteria" and obtain written consent from prospective policy holders before testing them for HIV. In a written agreement between the Insurance Department and American General, the company acknowledged the violations but said that there was no "conscious company policy to evade" the insurance laws or department regulations (Mulder, Syracuse
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