WHAT: Eight states and the District of Columbia do not have laws to specifically bar insurance companies from using domestic violence as a pre-existing condition to deny health coverage. The House Judiciary Committee and the Pennsylvania Department of Insurance reported during the 1990s that numerous major insurance companies factored in domestic violence when deciding whether to cover injuries and issue or renew policies.
WHY IT’S A BAD IDEA: Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., has been working on this issue since she met a woman who remained in an abusive marriage because the children were covered under the husband’s health care plan and she couldn’t get her own. Another woman told Murray she didn’t report that she’d been battered because she feared losing her coverage.
WHAT’S BEING DONE: At least one health care bill circulating in Congress includes a specific prohibition on the use of domestic violence as a pre-existing condition. Other bills include bans on considering all pre-existing conditions