Domestic Violence: 20 Years after OJ Simpson’s Slow Speed Chase

On this 20 year anniversary of O.J. Simpson’s famous Bronco chase,
domestic violence is still all too prevalent. You may not immediately
think of this as a insurance issue, but a few studies have shown
that it can be.

Did you know that before the Affordable Care Act, domestic violence
was seen as a pre-existing condition? This new health law has done
away with the notion of pre-existing conditions all together, so
this is now, thankfully, a non-issue.

According to a National Women’s Law Center article:

Insurance companies have used a history of abuse to deny coverage or to increase premiums, and have refused to cover abuse-related medical conditions and claims. These practices can discourage survivors from seeking help for fear of losing their insurance coverage if the abuse is discovered; they may also have the effect of penalizing survivors of domestic abuse for the violence they have experienced—by denying them coverage or treating domestic abuse as a pre-existing condition.

[U]ntil 2014, when all new health plans must accept anyone who applies for coverage, cannot exclude coverage based on pre-existing conditions, and are prohibited from charging higher premiums based on gender or health status. The new law explicity prohibits health insurance companies from discriminating against applicants on the basis of domestic violence survivorship, starting in 2014.

An article posted by the University of Dayton describes how life insurance
companies have similarly penalized domestic violence survivors:

Life insurance companies use a similar rationale for increased rates or denial of life insurance coverage. The assaults from the domestic violence abuser have an increased likelihood of resulting in death than someone who is not in an abusive relationship. This increased likelihood of death in comparison with others of similar characteristics increases the risk of premature payment of the policy. Another issue that has been raised as a concern for insurance policies is the potential of the abuser being the owner or beneficiary of the life insurance policy. However, state intestacy statutes provide protection for the victim’s estate by prohibiting the person who committed the wrongful termination of the victim’s life from inheriting from the victim.

If you have a question about your health or life insurance,
please complete the confidential form below or call our office
at 877.789.5831, and one of our experts will happily assist you, right away.

If you are a child abuse or domestic violence survivor in need of assistance, you may be interested in the free, anonymous, facilitated chat rooms at YesICAN.org

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