California Insurance Commissioner launches probe into life/disability insurance denials for people who take PrEP

Through advocacy work conducted by Project Inform and its partners in the California HIV Alliance, today February 15 California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones released this statement:

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – “Today I directed the California Department of Insurance to open an investigation into published reports that gay men have been denied insurance policies covering life, disability, or long-term care because they were taking medication to protect themselves from HIV/AIDS. Such denials, if they are occurring, could amount to illegal discrimination based on sexual orientation under California law, and if so, the companies doing so could be penalized. The New York Times has reported that various insurers nationwide have denied policies to gay men after learning they took Truvada to protect against HIV. The taking of medication to protect against HIV/AIDS, called pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These denials may effectively penalize applicants based on sexual orientation. Insurers cannot choose to deny coverage based on discriminatory reasons. I encourage any California residents who believe they have been denied coverage because of PrEP to contact the California Department of Insurance by calling our toll-free Consumer Hotline at 800-927-HELP (4357) or by filing a Request for Assistance online at www.insurance.ca.gov.”