INSURANCE: The Afflicted Need Not Apply

The Afflicted Need Not Apply

At the risk of stirring controversy, insurance executives have been perfectly forthright concerning their policies toward potential AIDS victims. Responding to a survey conducted by the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, 51 of 61 insurance companies admitted that they screen or plan to screen health- insurance applicants for signs of the AIDS virus. Half the firms give blood tests for the presence of AIDS antibodies, a sign that the applicant could be stricken with the disease.

Moreover, 18 firms reported that an applicant's sexual orientation is sometimes considered a factor in determining insurability. That practice defies guidelines issued by the National...

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