Braille Monitor                                                                  March 1985

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Action on Insurance:
A Report on the Meeting of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, and a New Model Regulation on Blindness

by James Gashel

In the Braille Monitor of December, 1984, we reported that the National Association of Insurance Commissioners NAIC) had organized a special task force in response to concerns expressed in Congress that insurance companies continue to discriminate against blind people. NAIC wanted to head off any possibility that Congress might enact a federal prohibition against insurance discrimination based on blindness. Following the first meeting of NAIC's task force, held on September 25, 1984, at the National Center for the Blind in Baltimore, there was much scurrying about by insurance industry and NAIC representatives who were trying desperately to appear very concerned about discrimination against the blind, enough so that Congress would feel comfortable thinking something was being done and the Federation would relax the pressure. The understood deadline for action was NAIC's national meeting scheduled to occur in Washington, D.C., on December 9-14, 1984. So, time was short if meaningful steps were to be taken.

The immediate problem for NAIC and the insurance industry was that discrimination against the blind continues to be a widespread practice throughout the industry despite enactment of state laws or regulations intended to prohibit it. The laws against insurance discrimination are the direct result of Federation efforts in state after state. These prohibitions follow a national model regulation adopted by NAIC in 1978.

But insurance companies have found ways around NAIC's national model and the state laws. For example, an underwriting committee for the Lincoln National Insurance Company stated that its published underwriting guides were not changed as a result of NAIC's model regulation on blindness or the state laws patterned after it. According to Lincoln National, the company's policies already met the requirements of nondiscrimination. Still, Lincoln National refused to sell waiver of premium coverage to blind people and refused to write insurance on anyone blind under the age of fifteen. We reported the details of these practices in the Braille Monitor for December, 1984.

If the NAIC model regulation on blindness and similar state laws and regulations permitted this discrimination to continue, they were too weak. That's what we told NAIC's task force members when they visited the National Center for the Blind last September. The NAIC model regulation on blindness was a compromise which we reached with the insurance industry in 1978. At the time it appeared there was good faith all around. The model prohibits discrimination (such as charging different rates to the blind or refusing to sell insurance altogether), but these and similar acts are permissible if the insurance company can justify them. The operative section of NAIC's 1978 model regulation on blindness reads as follows: "The following are hereby identified as acts or practices which constitute unfair discrimination between individuals of the same class: Refusing to insure, or refusing to continue to insure, or limiting the amount, extent or kind of coverage available to an individual, or charging an individual a different rate for the same coverage solely because of blindness or partial blindness, except where the refusal, limitation, or rate differential is based on sound actuarial principles or is related to actual or reasonably anticipated experience."

We always knew that the exception clause appearing in the section just quoted might be a loophole. But the language was the best we could get at the time. While we preferred a stronger model to begin with, this was the first step for NAIC. So we would see how it worked and improve it later if necessary. That was in 1978. But by 1984, it appeared that another cycle of insurance discrimination against the blind was underway. Companies had found the loophole of the exception clause and they were using it. Moreover, at least one company (again, it was Lincoln National) had been upheld by one state insurance commissioner in an interpretation of the exception clause which denied waiver of premium coverage to the blind. So, something had to be done to curb these abuses.

This is why we went to Congress and also began talking to the insurance commissioners. And we knew they would listen more if Congress was watching. The position we took with the insurance commissioners was simple--strengthen NAIC's national model on blindness. Then, pick some companies that are known discriminators and make them change their ways. Combined acts such as these might be dramatic enough to shake the industry into cooperating. For their part, the representatives on NAIC's task force promised from the beginning to do something. But they did not know (or say) what.

Throughout the fall we talked and negotiated over new language for the NAIC model regulation on blindness. Wiat language would be most effective in achieving the goal--requiring insurance companies to change their underwriting rules? One proposal which we embraced end the industry opposed was to eliminate the exception clause from the aristing NAIC model. This would mean that under any circumstances (even with actuarial evidence) it would be discriminatory for an insurance company to treat blind people differently from sighted people if the difference was based on blindness. A contrasting proposal (developed by the insurance industry) had language that could expand discrimination against the blind. That plan said insurance companies should not discriminate against the blind but may deny disability or health benefits if a claim was directly due to blindness.

These were the extremes, but other options were also on NAIC's negotiating table as the week of December 9-14 approached. The meeting was to be held in Washington, D.C., in the shadow of the nation's Capitol. The backdrop for it was our bill to give federal protection against insurance discrimination based on blindness. It is likely that this accounts for a major difference from our past dealings with NAIC. In the past, we have asked to appear on the agenda. This time, NAIC asked us. The implications of that distinction are apparent. We did not have to appear hat in hand before the insurance commissioners. In fact, they wanted desperately to convince us that there would be a genuine effort by states to fulfill the commitment of banning insurance discrimination against the blind through state (not federal) enforcement. Under these new conditions of our relationship with NAIC, our statement to the commissioners would have to set forth a challenge with no equivocation. Here is what we said:

Remarks of James Gashel
Director of Governmental Affairs National federation of the Blind Before the National Association of Insurance Commissioners Accident and Health Insurance (B) Committee

In December, 1965, a representative of the National Federation of the Blind came before the National Association of Insurance Commissioners to ask for help in combatting insurance discrimination based on blindness. The commissioners listened courteously. Then they went home and did nothing, or mostly nothing, at least so far as anyone could tell. And the pattern of discrimination continued.

Then in December, 1977, (twelve years to the month after the first presentation), another representative of the National Federation of the Blind came before the National Association of Insurance Commissioners to ask for help in combatting insurance discrimination based on blindness. The commissioners listened courteously. One among them (Herbert Anderson of Iowa, now deceased) listened with special interest. Our representative was a fellow Iowan. Herb Anderson had taken a personal interest in helping us combat insurance discrimination based on blindness. Iowa had in place an insurance regulation designed to prohibit discriminatory practices against the blind. But would the other states go along? Even if they did, were the state laws strong enough to give insurance commissioners sufficient authority to help us? Would they want to use it if they had the authority? These were the questions in December, 1977.

Now in December, 1984, there stands before you still a third representative of the National Federation of the Blind, coming to ask for your help in combatting insurance discrimination based on blindness. And the questions still remain largely what they were in 1977--are the state insurance departments really committed enough to help us address this problem, and are they capable of doing so?

In June, 1978, we thought we were beginning to get the answer. It was at that time, here in the nation's capital, that the NAIC took formal action to adopt a model regulation for use by states in prohibiting insurance discrimination against the blind. We' were elated. We publicized the move in articles and speeches proclaiming that the end of insurance discrimination based on blindness was at hand.

We actually thought it was at hand. Industry representatives had been part of the process used in drafting the model regulation. In fact, representatives of the insurance industry were a majority on the task force that drafted the original model regulation. We had one seat, and I believe there were eleven members from the industry. Naturally, we thought this meant there would be cooperation industry-wide in implementing the new NAIC model.

When the commissioners went home from the meeting in Washington, we set to work with the states to implement the national model. From our point of view, the results were mixed. Some were immediately cooperative. Other commissioners took a while to do anything with the NAIC model. By the time they did act on it, it seemed (true or not) that the response was more a matter of placating the blind than of genuine state priority or interest. At least one state commissioner said he would have nothing to do with the NAIC model and dared us to go to the legislature. We did.

I am not going to try to recite all of the events which have led us to the point where we are today. Suffice it to say that NAIC is firmly on record as officially opposing insurance discrimination based on blindness or partial blindness. Your national model proclaims it. But beyond this, your own representatives have told a Congressional subcommittee that NAIC is committed to state leadership in enforcing prohibitions against discrimination based on blindness. Does this mean that the commitment is shared equally by the various state commissioners? We cannot say.

What we can say is that insurance discrimination against the blind still continues. Your own survey (recently conducted) shows it to be the case. There are individual complaints to be sure. But significantly, too, these complaints arise from underwriting guides that persist in discriminating on the basis of blindness despite state policies to the contrary. Some guides still call for classifying blind people separately from others, then rating for blindness as well as rating for the cause of the blindness, if the cause is ratable. This should be illegal understate prohibitions. But still the guides remain in effect, and blind people are treated accordingly.

One company (it will not serve any purpose to name the source) candidly admits in a memorandum from its underwriting committee that the published underwriting guides were not changed with the enactment of the NAIC model and state prohibitions. Company lawyers doubtless felt that the guides complied with these laws. Still, the company had declined to sell insurance on any blind youngsters under age fifteen or to write disability income protection (including waiver of premium) on any blind person. These practices (with respect to that company, at least) may now be changing. I wish I could say that the change in this instance (and we are talking about a major insurance company) was due to vigorous enforcement activities by a state or states, or to initiatives of NAIC, itself. Unfortunately, it is not due to either of these forces. In fact, one state insurance department, applying the current NAIC model regulation, actually upheld the company in question in its practice of not selling waiver of premium protection to the blind.

So why the apparent change of heart by the company? The answer has to do with pending federal legislation, pure and simple. That bill (H.R. 4642 and S. 2775, during the 98th Congress) calls for a new standard of proof in writing or refusing to write insurance on people who are blind or visually impaired. The requirement would be, that there must be sound actuarial evidence. Otherwise, disregard the fact of blindness entirely.

Apparently this test (sound actuarial evidence) makes the underwriters panic. It interferes with their judgment and their discretion to exercise that judgment at will. They don't want the insurance commissioners, the Congress, or the federal courts, telling them to apply sound actuarial evidence or else treat the blind like anyone else. So the company in question has decided to moderate its stand in response to the outside pressure. We applaud the move but not necessarily the motive. No doubt you join us in this. But the actions of a single company (regardless of the size of that company) do not represent an industry reform. More must be done to stimulate a broader change.

And speaking of the standard of evidence, the company in question has advised us that blind applicants can now expect to have insurance plus disability riders and so forth at standard rates, only with one exception. The exception applies to someone who has been blind for less than two years. In that case, there would be a rating for the cause of blindness, which (if the cause has anything to do with mortality rates) is acceptable; but there also would be an additional rating applied for the blindness itself. That is unacceptable. The reason for the additional rating is the alleged existence by the company of actuarial evidence showing that the newly blind are greater risks than the long-time blind. The theory must be that the long-time blind are pros at being blind, so the hazard must be less. But logic tells us that the newly blind are not in danger at all. Most of them are afraid to venture very far from their rocking chairs. I know of no actuarial evidence that links death with falls from rocking chairs due to blindness.

So we asked the company for the evidence. We were told it existed and we could have it. That was on October 16, 1984. We waited. On December 6, 1984, I received a telephone call from a researcher for the underwriters (same company) who asked me if the National Federation of the Blind could direct her to any evidence which would link blindness and mortality. She was trying to establish that blind people might die sooner, or at least that the newly blind might die sooner than the long-time blind.

Now consider what this phone call from the researcher tells us. On October 16 her company offered to give us the evidence it had that newly blind people might die sooner than the rest of us. "Just give us actuarial statistics, computer generated analyses of death records, or whatever it is you have that proves that the newly blind die sooner than the long-time blind or the sighted," we said. That was on October 16. But on December 6 a researcher for the same company is calling the National Federation of the Blind to see if she can find the very evidence her company already told us it could produce. What a strange world we live in. This should tell you something about evidence. Now where do we go from here? You are considering a new model regulation on blindness. Under date of December 3, 1984, we reacted to that proposed model in a statement which many of you have undoubtedly seen.

We oppose the draft that was distributed for this meeting because it has at least one giant loophole. It would permit insurance companies to deny benefits (disability or medical) on grounds that the claim was due to blindness which existed before the policy was purchased. That may not be intended, but the loophole is there. It would be better to leave things as they are than to enact something such as this which would take us backwards several years. The loophole is so gigantic and obvious that the blind en masse will oppose it. How many state commissioners or legislatures will adopt this revised model regulation on blindness if their blind constituents say they aren't buying it? I think it is clear, that the process we have started to improve state enforcement will be paralyzed.

How much better it would be if NAIC could actually come forth with a straightforward, unequivocal, and definite model prohibition. There are many ways to do that. Most have been suggested during the last few months of negotiating. Compromise is fine. But the last time out the industry largely structured the compromise. I think the people who did so had good intentions. But their good intentions were abused by others who were not party to the compromise. So it didn't work.

Now it is time for NAIC, with its own voice and its own authority, to act. All we ask is that you act effectively to change industry practice. The test we will apply will be simple--does it wrk? Never mind excuse making with bureaucratic or legal reasons about why it didn't work. The test for the future will be: Does it now work.

On behalf of the nation 's blind, I hope you will settle on language which does work. I hope the industry will agree to cooperate in making it work. Then we can put discrimination based on Dlindness to rest, once and for all. We have made no secret that this is our oojective. Whoever joins us, welcome iDoard. The future is ours. And to those who stay behind, you will have only the past to remember.

That statement was presented before a room full of industry and state insurKice department representatives. A typical reaction came from the deputy insurance commissioner for Pennsylvania who wrote:

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
December 19, 1984

Dear Mr. Gashel:

I enjoyed your presentation to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners last week. Being in charge of consumer complaints and enforcement in Pennsylvania, I am most eager to learn of any acts of alleged discrimination against the blind by insurers in Pennsylvania. I would hope that you would bring any problems of this nature to my attention as soon as possible.

Sincerely yours,

Jonathan Neipris
Deputy Insurance Commissioner
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

 

Edward Muhl, the State Insurance Commissioner for Maryland, played a key role in the December meeting. He made the motion to strike the exception clause from the existing NAIC model regulation on blindness. It meant that no discrimination would be permitted against the blind under any circumstances, even with actuarial evidence. Industry representatives were annoyed no end with this turn of events. But they were also able to count the votes in the room. One by one they came to the microphone to express their opposition to the Muhl motion while pledging to end discrimination voluntarily.

Then the chairman of the meeting (the insurance commissioner from Oregon) allowed me to question each industry representative--so I questioned: "Assuming NAIC eliminates the exception clause, as proposed by Commissioner Muhl, will the companies you represent fight new state regulations or support them?" Considering their pledges of nondiscrimination, this seemed a reasonable question for the insurance industry representatives. And each responded that their companies would undoubtedly support the new regulations. Of course, it was not what the companies wanted. But the alternative would likely be a federal law. That would be worse for the industry. So each industry representative publicly pledged support for the new model and tried only weakly to qualify the endorsement. Since these pledges were made at a public meeting with insurance commissioners looking on, it will now be hard for the industry to back away.

Then questions were put to me. This was a time for straight talk. Everyone was speaking on the record. The questioner was the incoming president of NAIC. He is Bruce Foudree, insurance commissioner for Iowa. His questions reflected the earnest hope of all of the state insurance commissioners to avoid federal regulation and control. He asked: Would the National Federation of the Blind support new state regulations or laws if those regulations or laws eliminated the exception clause in accordance with Commissioner Muhl's motion? If so, would we back away from federal legislation on insurance discrimination?

I answered both questions directly but in the reverse order. No, we would not back away from federal legislation. Yes, we would support the new state regulations or laws and work to secure their approval. From throughout the room, there were murmurings of objection to my answers, especially the first one. Some said it was inconsistent for us to continue asking Congress for a federal law while supporting state regulations. But the fact is that the insurance commissioners hoped they would strike a deal with us. They would pass stronger state regulations if we would cease our efforts in Congress. I explained that such a deal was not acceptable. We will not need to take our case to Congress when state insurance laws and regulations are strengthened and companies stop discriminating. The test will be: Does it work? The commissioners were not pleased, but how could they be?

Commissioner Muhl's motion passed on a unanimous vote in spite of the disappointment that no deal had been struck. So the exception clause is out. At least it is out of the NAIC model regulation on blindness. Now each state will need to act if the new model is to be followed. Most states will need to amend an existing regulation, law, or both. A few states, where no regulation or law now exists, may now consider passing one for the first time. See Appendix 1 for a summary of the status of laws or regulations now on the books in each state. The information was compiled from state reports on file with NAIC.

It should be noted that thirty-five states currently prohibit insurance discrimination against anyone with a physical or mental impairment, including the blind. Twenty of these thirty-five states do not have a separate regulation or law on blindness alone. Now they should do so, and the remaining fifteen states should work to strengthen existing laws or regulations which specifically protect the blind. NAIC die not change its model regulation relating to discrimination against people with a physical or mental impairment. NAIC only approved striking the exception clause from its model regulation on blindness. Any state that now uses the physical or mental impairment model to cover the blind, as well, will need to consider passing a special regulation or law pertaining to the blind only.

Actually there are now two reasons for states to enact special regulations or laws banning insurance discrimination against the blind as a separate class. The first reason is that NAIC's model regulation pertaining to the physically or mentally impaired (which could include the blind unless separately specified) only relates to life and health insurance. But the NAIC model regulation on blindness applies to all forms of insurance, not just life and health. So any state that follows NAIC's model for the physically or mentally impaired (without separately enacting the blindness model) has protection against insurance discrimination limited to life and health insurance only. Those states that enact NAIC's blindness model separate from any other regulation will have comprehensive protection against discrimination based on blindness in all forms of insurance.

The second reason to have a separate regulation or law on blindness alone, patterned after NAIC 's new model, may now be more important than the first. That is because the exception clause is out. Under this revised form of the regulation there is simply no acceptable reason or excuse for discrimination against the blind in the issuance of any form of insurance. This revised NAIC model regulation on blindness is far stronger than the physical or mental impairment regulation. So, the blind of every state will want to work toward the enactment of the revised NAIC model. Appendix 2 is a complete text of NAIC's Model Regulation on blindness as it now reads.

On December 14, 1984, the Executive Committee of NAIC passed a resolution calling upon the states to act immediately to implement the revision approved for the model regulation on blindness. This action means that state laws or regulations will be changed if the commissioners decide to follow NAIC's resolution. In some states it will be done by regulation, and the insurance commissioner will act more or less independently of any other authority in the state. This means that the changes may be made quite quickly. In other states the legislature must be called upon to change existing laws. The legislation should be initiated by the state insurance commissioner, but we will surely want to take an active hand in the matter. In many cases we may have to be the moving force. Action will need to be swift.

Under date of December 19, 1984, Bruce Foudree (now NAIC's President) and Josephine Driscoll (Insurance Commissioner for Oregon and Chairman of the Accident and Health Insurance (B) Committee) sent a memorandum to the insurance commissioner of each state along with a copy of the revised model regulation on blindness and the resolution urging immediate action by states:

December 19, 1984

To: All NAIC Members

From:
Bruce W. Foudree, President, NAIC

Josephine Driscoll
Vice President, NAIC

Re: Model Regulation on Unfair Discrimination on the Basis of Blindness or Partial Blindness

This is a reminder that on December 14, 1984, the Executive Committee of the NAIC adopted an amendment to the Model Regulation on Unfair Discrimination on the Basis of Blindness or Partial Blindness. The model as amended is attached for your review and adoption.

As you may recall, the amending of the NAIC model is the culmination of several months of discussion with representatives of the National Federation of the Blind and industry representatives to find a solution to problems identified with the existing NAIC model. James Gashel, National Federation of the Blind, stated in the Accident and Health Committee meeting in Washington that he believed the adoption of the amended model was a positive step by the NAIC but emphasized that adoption by the states is the essential part of the process.

The Executive Committee reiterated its commitment to eliminating unfair discrimination against the blind and adoption by the states of the amended model in the December 14 resolution. The resolution is attached.

We have asked Sandra Gilfillan, General Counsel in the Support and Services Office, to monitor enactment of the amendment. Therefore, please advise her when you adopt the amended model.

Executive Committee
Resolution on Blindness
December 14, 1984

WHEREAS, it has come to the attention of the various members of the NAIC that certain members of the insurance industry are engaging in activities which were intended to be prohibited by the Model Regulation on Unfair Discrimination on the Basis of Blindness or partial Blindness, and

WHEREAS, such actions constitute unfair discrimination against blind persons in the sale of insurance, and

WHEREAS, the NAIC has deemed it necessary to amend the Act as of December, 1984, in order to clarify its intent to prohibit those acts, and

WHEREAS, it is essential that all states act to prohibit such actions;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that all states are urged to immediately take steps to seek enactment and implementation of the changes to the Model Regulation on Unfair Discrimination on the Basis of Blindness or Partial Blindness adopted by the Accident and Health Insurance (B) Committee on December 13, 1984; implementation amended Model discrimination

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the NAIC Support and Services Office shall assist the officers in monitoring the efforts and progress of the states in achieving enactment and of the provisions of the Act prohibiting unfair against blind persons.

The revised NAIC model regulation represents another victory in our long running battle against insurance discrimination. The resolution means that many states will move quickly to approve new laws or regulations. As they do, we will face the challenge of making certain that these provisions guarantee the type of protection expected by NAIC and by us. Where there are problems, we will document them and report them to Congress and administrative officials. The battle is not over, but another major step has been taken. President Jernigan has often told us that our movement gives the blind the power to shape the future for ourselves and those who will come after us. Of course, he is right. We shape our future one battle at the time, and over a span of years patterns and trends emerge.

In the future, when an individual who is blind seeks to buy insurance and does so without difficulty, the routine nature of the transaction will be attributable to the organized blind of the present generation. Most of us can still remember a time when insurance companies could legally refuse to sell us certain forms of coverage or could charge us extra rates. But the blind who come after us will experience less of this, and they will have legal recourse when it does occur. This is a victory which has been won by the blind themselves. No one else in the blindness field had a hand in it or helped make it happen. Let the history of our organization record it, and let the blind of today and in the future remember it.

Appendix 1
State Laws or Regulations Prohibiting
Insurance Discrimination

(Note: Details about the laws or regulations for each state will be found in state statutes and administrative codes. Information shown here is only a guide presented to show the natinal pattern and trend. It was compiled from a report submitted to Congress by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, September, 1984.)

Alabama: No law or regulation specifically prohibiting discrimination in insurance based on blindness or physicial or mental impairment.

Alaska: No law or regulation specifically prohibiting discrimination in insurance based on blindness or physical or mental impairment.

Arizona: Regulations with combined coverage for the blind and the physically or mentally impaired.

Arkansas: Regulations with combined coverage for the blind and the physically or mentally impaired.

California: Laws with combined coverage for the blind and the physically or mentally impaired.

Colorado: Laws with combined coverage for the blind and the physically or mentally impaired. Also a specific law aimed at protecting blind people against discrimination in life and health insurance.

Connecticut: Law with combined coverage for the blind and the physicially or mentally impaired.

Delaware: Laws with combined coverage for the blind and the physicially or mentally imparled. Also a specific law aimed at protecting blind people against discrimination in life and health insurance.

District of Columbia: No law or regulation specifically prohibiting discrimination in insurance basd on blindness or physical or mental impairment.

Florida: Laws with combined coverage for the blind and the physically or mentally imparled. Also a specific law aimed at protecting blind people against discrimination in life and health insurance.

Georgia: No law or regulation specifically prohibiting discrimination in insurance based on blindness or physicial or mental impairment.

Hawaii: Regulations with combined coverage for the blind and the physically or mentally impaired. Also a specific regulation aimed at prohibiting discrimination against the blind in life and health insurance.

Idaho: No law or regulation specifically prohibiting discrimination in insurance based on blindness or physical or mental impairment.

Illinois: Laws and regulations with combined coverge for the blind and the physically or mentally impaired.

Indiana: Laws with combined coverage for the blind and the physically or mentally impaired. Also a specific law aimed at protecting blind people against discrimination in life and health insurance.

Iowa: Regulations with combined coverage for the blind and the physically or mentally impaired.

Kansas: Laws with combined coverage for the blind and the physically or mentally impaired.

Kentucky: No law or regulation specifically prohibiting discrimination in insurance based on blindness or physical or mental impairment.

Louisiana: Laws with combined coverage for the blind and the physicially or mentally imparled. Also a specific law aimed at protecting blind people against discrimination in life and health insurance.

Maine: Laws with combined coverage for the blind and the physically or mentally imparled. Also a specific law aimed at protecting blind people against discrimination in life and health insurance.

Maryland: Laws with combined coverage for the blind and the physically or mentally impaired.

Michigan: Laws with combined coverage for the blind and the physically or mentally impaired.

Minnesota: Laws with combined coverage for the blind and the physically or mentally impaired.

Mississippi: Regulations with combined coverage for the blind and the physically or mentally impaired. Also a specific regulation aimed at prohibiting discrimination against the blind in life and health insurance.

Missouri: Regulations with combiend coverage for the blind and the physically or mentally impaired.

Montana: Regulations with combined coverage for the blind and the physically or mentally impaired. Also a specific regulation aimed at prohibiting discrimination against the blind in life and health insurance.

Nebraska: Regulations with combined coverage for the blind and the physically or mentally impaired. Also a specific regulation aimed at prohibiting discrimination against the blind in life and health insurance.

Nevada: No law or regulation specifically prohibiting discrimination in insurance based on blindness or physical or mental impairment.

New Hampshire: No law or regulation specifically prohibiting discrimination in insurance based on blindness or physical or mental impairment.

New Jersey: Regulations with combined coverage for the blind and the physically or mentally impaired.

New Mexico: No law or regulation specifically prohibiting discrimination in insurance based on blindness or physical or mental impairment.

New York: No law or regulation specifically prohibiting discrimination in insurance based on blindness or physcial or mental impairment.

North Carolina: Laws with combined coverage for the blind and the physically or mentally impaired.

North Dakota: Laws with combined coverage for the blind and the physically or mentally impaired. Also a specific law aimed at protecting blind peole against discrimination in life and health insurance.

Ohio: Laws with combined coverage for the blind and the physically or mentally impaired.

Oklahoma: No law or regulation specifically prohibiting discrimination in insurance based on blindness or physical or mental impairment.

Oregon: Laws with combined coverage for the blind and the physically or mentally impaired.

Pennsylvania: No law or regulation specifically prohibiting discrimination in insurance based on blindness or physicial or mental impairment.

Rhode Island: Laws with combined coverge for the blind and the physically or mentally impaired.

South Carolina: Regulations with combined coverage for the blind and the physically or mentally impaired. Also a specific regulation aimed at prohibiting discrimination against the blind in life and health insurance.

South Dakota: Laws with combined coverage for the blind and the physically or mentally impaired. Also a specific law aimed at protecting blind people against discrimination in life and health insurance.

Tennessee: No law or regulation specifically prohibiting discrimination in insurance based on blindness or physical or mental impairment.

Texas: No law or regulation specifically prohibiting discrimination in insurance based on blindness or physical or mental impairment.

Utah: Regulations with combined coverage for the blind and the physically or mentally impaired. Also a specific regulation aimed at prohibiting discrimination against the blind in life and health insurance.

Vermont: Regulations with combined coverage for the blind and the physically or mentally impaired. Also a specific regulation aimed at prohibiting discrimination against the blind in life and health insurance.

Virginia: Laws with combined coverage for the blind and the physically or mentally impaired.

Washington: Laws with combined coverage for the blind and the physically or mentally impaired.

West Virginia: No law or regulation specifically prohibiting discrimination in insurance based on blindness or physical or mental impairment.

Wisconsin: Laws and regulations with combined coverage for the blind and the physically or mentally impaired.

Wyoming: No law or regulation specifically prohibiting discrimination in insurance based on blindness or physical or mental impairment

 

Appendix 2
Model Regulation
On Unfair Discrimination
On The Basis of Blindness
Or Partial Blindness

Table of Contents

Section I. Authority
Section II. Purpose
Section III. Unfairly Discriminatory Acts or Practices

Section I. Authority

This regulation is promulgated pursuant to the authority granted by Section 12 of the Unfair Trade Practices Act.

Section II. Purpose

The purpose of this regulation is to identify specific acts or practices which are prohibited by Section 4(7) of the Unfair Trade Practices Act.

Section III. Unfairly Discriminatory Acts or Practices

The following are hereby identified as acts or practices which constitute unfair discrimination between individuals of the same class: Refusing to insure, or refusing to continue to insure, or limiting the amount, extent, or kind of coverage available to an individual, or charging an individual a different rate for the same coverage solely because of blindness or partial blindness.