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Man denied long-term care insurance for HIV drugs

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Can you be denied long-term care insurance because of any medications that you are taking? According to one insurer, you can. However, one applicant and some of his supporters are arguing otherwise.

A Massachusetts man as well as the Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders are accusing insurance company Mutual of Omaha of denying benefits to the applicant for LTC insurance because he is taking a medication called Truvada. The drug is prescribed to people who are HIV-negative in order to help prevent transmission of the virus.

Mutual of Omaha denied the Boston man's LTC insurance application early this year. The company stated that the reason for the denial was the man's use of Truvada.

One of the attorneys who is pursuing litigation in the case calls the denial of insurance "nonsensical." He notes that if the man were not taking the medication, and therefore "not protecting his health and the health of others," he would have been approved for LTC insurance.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that medications like Truvada can reduce the transmission of HIV by as much as 92 percent. As the plaintiff said, "Insurance companies should be begging everyone to take Truvada -- not discouraging them."

The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination is also involved in the case. The group is accusing Mutual of Omaha of discrimination based on both sexual orientation and disability.

Anyone who is denied LTC insurance or whose claims are denied for reasons that they believe are wrong or illegal should seek legal guidance to determine what their options are.

Source: RH Reality Check, "Insurance Company Denied Coverage to Gay Man Because He Takes HIV Medication," Jessica Mason Pieklo, Sep. 16, 2015

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