CA lawmaker proposes bill to help secure life, disability insurance for HIV-positive individuals

LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- California lawmaker Lena Gonzalez proposed a new bill that would make it easier for HIV-positive individuals to secure life and disability-income insurance.

The bill would prevent insurance companies from denying coverage to individuals based solely on someone's HIV status. If the bill is passed, it would effectively overturn a law passed in 1989 when treatment for HIV patients was limited and the life expectancy was shorter.

"It will require the insurance companies treat HIV as any other chronic condition, not as a death sentence. And this bill will provide critical benefits for HIV-positive individuals to ensure they receive the coverage they deserve for themselves and their families." State Sen. Lena Gonzalez said.

In a news release from the California Department of Insurance, commissioner Ricardo Lara said:

"A person should not be defined by their HIV status and it should not be the only factor when determining their right to insurance protection."
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