The Private Industry's Tactics Against Suspected Homosexuals: Redlining Based on Occupation, Residence and Marital Status
Li, Katy Chi-Wen
American Journal of Law and Medicine. 1996; 22(4): 477-502.
Part II of this Article explores the extent of the problem of the denial of health insurance or the provision of insurance at above-average rates to people insurers suspect to be homosexuals based on their occupation, place of residence and other factors. It also surveys the nature of the underwriting practices that insurers employ in classifying the applicant pool according to risk, followed by some documented instances in which certain private insurance companies have used discriminatory procedures to deny insurance to individuals working in suspect occupations or living in areas perceived to have a high incidence of AIDS cases. Part III examines the legal implications of the problem. After reviewing some current legal efforts designed to prevent expansion of the dilemma, Part III addresses the legal ramifications of unfounded redlining practices. Part IV suggests possible solutions to the issue and examines the feasibility and effectiveness of efforts already in place to solve the problem. Part V concludes that the private insurance industry's use of tactics for screening out people perceived to be at a higher risk for contracting HIV using social stereotypes is not justified, because concerns that the AIDS crisis will destroy the insurance companies' financial soundness are unproven. Furthermore, insurers should not employ methods based on random factors such as place of residence, occupation and marital status to deny systematically certain sectors of the population access to insurance coverage. Other serious diseases pose a greater financial burden for the insurance industry, yet insurers have not attempted to exclude people who may have a higher risk for contracting those diseases.
Aids; Aids Serodiagnosis; Discrimination; Economics; Employment; Government; Government Regulation; Health; Health Care; Health Insurance; HIV Seropositivity; Homosexuals; Industry; Insurance; Insurance Coverage; Insurance Selection Bias; Legal Aspects; Males; Methods; Nature; Organizational Policies; Regulation; Risk; Self Regulation; Single Persons; State Government; Surveys;
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