Oklahoma Ban on Denial of Coverage for Domestic Abuse Victims Advances

April 29, 2010

The Oklahoma House of Representatives has passed legislation to prevent the practice of denying insurance coverage to victims of domestic violence.

Senate Bill 1251, by state Sen. Jim Wilson, D-Tahlequah, and House Minority Floor Leader Mike Brown, D-Tahlequah, prohibits health benefit plans from denying coverage, refusing to renew, or canceling a person’s health benefit plan on the basis of that person’s status as a victim of domestic abuse. The legislation also states that domestic abuse shall not be considered a preexisting condition.

There were more than 23,000 reports of domestic violence in Oklahoma in 2008, according to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. Brown said that despite that tragic fact, Oklahoma is one of only eight states to allow health insurance companies to consider one’s status as a victim of domestic violence when deciding whether to issue a policy or pay a claim.

Senate Bill 1251 passed the House unanimously and returns to the Senate.

Source: Oklahoma Legislature

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