Colorado Division of Insurance Issues Bulletin on Sexual Orientation Discrimination

 

The Colorado Division of Insurance issued Bulletin No. B-4.49 on March 18 providing guidance for carriers, consumers, and health service providers on the state’s legal prohibitions against discrimination in health care coverage based on sexual orientation—including heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgender status. 

The Division advises that it interprets the insurance code of Colorado law to prohibit the denial, cancellation, limitation, or refusal to issue or renew health coverage based on a person’s sexual orientation. The bulletin also states that insurance carriers cannot impose any differential in premium rates or charges based on sexual orientation. Carriers may not designate an individual’s sexual orientation as a pre-existing condition for the purpose of denying or limiting coverage. And, lastly, carriers may not deny, exclude, or otherwise limit coverage for medically necessary services, as determined by an individual’s medical provider.    

Bulletins are interpretations of existing law or general statements of the Division of Insurance’s policies. They are not binding and do not determine issues or rights. Please note that this bulletin is based on existing Colorado law prohibiting sexual orientation discrimination. It does not address recent changes brought about by the Colorado Civil Unions Act as far as insurance coverage for parties to civil unions.