BILL NUMBER: AB 1586	CHAPTERED
	BILL TEXT

	CHAPTER  421
	FILED WITH SECRETARY OF STATE  SEPTEMBER 29, 2005
	APPROVED BY GOVERNOR  SEPTEMBER 29, 2005
	PASSED THE ASSEMBLY  SEPTEMBER 7, 2005
	PASSED THE SENATE  SEPTEMBER 6, 2005
	AMENDED IN SENATE  JULY 1, 2005
	AMENDED IN SENATE  JUNE 20, 2005

INTRODUCED BY   Assembly Members Koretz, Goldberg, Laird, Leno, and
Lieber
   (Principal coauthor: Senator Kuehl)
   (Coauthors: Senators Kehoe and Migden)

                        FEBRUARY 22, 2005

   An act to amend Section 1365.5 of the Health and Safety Code, and
to amend Section 10140 of the Insurance Code, relating to insurance.


	LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


   AB 1586, Koretz  Insurers: health care service plans:
discrimination.
   Existing law provides for licensing and regulation of health care
service plans by the Department of Managed Health Care. Existing law
provides for licensing and regulation of insurers by the Department
of Insurance.
   Existing law prohibits certain discriminatory acts by health care
service plans and insurers. With respect to health care service
plans, certain discrimination based on the sex of an enrollee is
prohibited. With respect to life and disability insurers, an insurer
may not refuse to accept an insurance application, or issue or cancel
insurance under conditions less favorable to the insured than in
other comparable cases, except for reasons applicable alike to
persons of every race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, or
sexual orientation. The Insurance Commissioner has authority to
assess specified administrative penalties for a violation of these
provisions.
   This bill would add "sex" to the insurance provision governing
life and disability insurers. The bill, for purposes of both of these
provisions, would provide that "sex" shall have the same meaning as
"gender," as defined.  The bill would state the intent of the
Legislature in that regard.


THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:


  SECTION 1.  Section 1365.5 of the Health and Safety Code is amended
to read:
   1365.5.  (a) No health care service plan or specialized health
care service plan shall refuse to enter into any contract or shall
cancel or decline to renew or reinstate any contract because of the
race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, sex, marital
status, sexual orientation, or age of any contracting party,
prospective contracting party, or person reasonably expected to
benefit from that contract as a subscriber, enrollee, member, or
otherwise.
   (b) The terms of any contract shall not be modified, and the
benefits or coverage of any contract shall not be subject to any
limitations, exceptions, exclusions, reductions, copayments,
coinsurance, deductibles, reservations, or premium, price, or charge
differentials, or other modifications because of the race, color,
national origin, ancestry, religion, sex, marital status, sexual
orientation, or age of any contracting party, potential contracting
party, or person reasonably expected to benefit from that contract as
a subscriber, enrollee, member, or otherwise; except that premium,
price, or charge differentials because of the sex or age of any
individual when based on objective, valid, and up-to-date statistical
and actuarial data are not prohibited. Nothing in this section shall
be construed to permit a health care service plan to charge
different premium rates to individual enrollees within the same group
solely on the basis of the enrollee's sex.
   (c) It shall be deemed a violation of subdivision (a) for any
health care service plan to utilize marital status, living
arrangements, occupation, sex, beneficiary designation, ZIP Codes or
other territorial classification, or any combination thereof for the
purpose of establishing sexual orientation. Nothing in this section
shall be construed to alter in any manner the existing law
prohibiting health care service plans from conducting tests for the
presence of human immunodeficiency virus or evidence thereof.
   (d) This section shall not be construed to limit the authority of
the director to adopt or enforce regulations prohibiting
discrimination because of sex, marital status, or sexual orientation.

   (e) "Sex" as used in this section shall have the same meaning as
"gender," as defined in Section 422.56 of the Penal Code.
  SEC. 2.  Section 10140 of the Insurance Code is amended to read:
   10140.  (a) No admitted insurer, licensed to issue life or
disability insurance, shall fail or refuse to accept an application
for that insurance, to issue that insurance to an applicant therefor,
or issue or cancel that insurance, under conditions less favorable
to the insured than in other comparable cases, except for reasons
applicable alike to persons of every race, color, religion, sex,
national origin, ancestry, or sexual orientation. Race, color,
religion, national origin, ancestry, or sexual orientation shall not,
of itself, constitute a condition or risk for which a higher rate,
premium, or charge may be required of the insured for that insurance.
Unless otherwise prohibited by law, premium, price, or charge
differentials because of the sex of any individual when based on
objective, valid, and up-to-date statistical and actuarial data or
sound underwriting practices are not prohibited.
   (b) Except as otherwise permitted by law, no admitted insurer,
licensed to issue disability insurance policies for hospital,
medical, and surgical expenses, shall fail or refuse to accept an
application for that insurance, fail or refuse to issue that
insurance to an applicant therefor, cancel that insurance, refuse to
renew that insurance, charge a higher rate or premium for that
insurance, or offer or provide different terms, conditions, or
benefits, or place a limitation on coverage under that insurance, on
the basis of a person's genetic characteristics that may, under some
circumstances, be associated with disability in that person or that
person's offspring.
   (c) No admitted insurer, licensed to issue disability insurance
for hospital, medical, and surgical expenses, shall seek information
about a person's genetic characteristics for any nontherapeutic
purpose.
   (d) No discrimination shall be made in the fees or commissions of
agents or brokers for writing or renewing a policy of disability
insurance, other than disability income, on the basis of a person's
genetic characteristics that may, under some circumstances, be
associated with disability in that person or that person's offspring.

   (e) It shall be deemed a violation of subdivision (a) for any
insurer to consider sexual orientation in its underwriting criteria
or to utilize marital status, living arrangements, occupation, sex,
beneficiary designation, ZIP Codes or other territorial
classification within this state, or any combination thereof for the
purpose of establishing sexual orientation or determining whether to
require a test for the presence of the human immunodeficiency virus
or antibodies to that virus, where that testing is otherwise
permitted by law. Nothing in this section shall be construed to
alter, expand, or limit in any manner the existing law respecting the
authority of insurers to conduct tests for the presence of human
immunodeficiency virus or evidence thereof.
   (f) This section shall not be construed to limit the authority of
the commissioner to adopt regulations prohibiting discrimination
because of sex, marital status, or sexual orientation or to enforce
these regulations, whether adopted before or on or after January 1,
1991.
   (g) "Genetic characteristics" as used in this section shall have
the same meaning as defined in Section 10123.3.
   (h) "Sex" as used in this section shall have the same meaning as
"gender," as defined in Section 422.56 of the Penal Code.
  SEC. 3.  This act is not intended to mandate that health care
service plans or insurers must provide coverage for any particular
benefit, nor is it intended to prohibit sound underwriting practices
or criteria based on objective, valid, and up-to-date statistical and
actuarial data. Rather, the purpose of this act is to prohibit plans
and insurers from denying an individual a plan contract or policy,
or coverage for a benefit included in the contract or policy, based
on the person's sex, as defined.