§ 1078. Protections required for victims of the crime of domestic violence
A. As used in this Section, the following terms shall be defined as follows:
(1) “Abuse” means bodily injury as a result of battery or any offense against the person as defined in the Louisiana Criminal Code, except negligent injury and defamation, when such battery or offense is committed by one family or household member against another. “Abuse” shall also mean abuse of adults as defined in R.S. 15:1503 when committed by an adult child or adult grandchild.
(2) “Abuse status” means the fact or perception that a person is, has been, or may be a subject of abuse, irrespective of whether the person has sustained abuse-related medical conditions.
(3) “Confidential abuse information” means information about acts of abuse or the abuse status of a subject of abuse, the fact that a person’s medical condition is abuse-related if the issuer knows or has reason to know it is abuse-related, the home and work address and telephone number of a subject of abuse, or the status of an applicant or insured as a family member, employer, or associate of a subject of abuse, or as a person in a relationship with a subject of abuse.
(4) “Insurance professional” means an agent, broker, adjuster, or third party administrator as defined in this Title.
(5) “Subject of abuse” means a person against whom an act of abuse has been directed; who has current or prior injuries, illnesses, or disorders that result from abuse; or who seeks, may have sought, or had reason to seek medical or psychological treatment for abuse or protection, court-ordered protection, or shelter from abuse.
B. No health insurance issuer or nonfederal governmental plan shall engage in any of the following acts or practices on the basis of the abuse status of an applicant or insured:
(1) Restricting, excluding, or limiting health benefit plan coverage solely as a result of abuse status.
(2) Adding a rate differential solely because of abuse status.
(3) Denying or limiting payment of a claim incurred by an insured, enrollee, member, subscriber, or dependent solely because the claim was incurred as a result of abuse status.
C. A spouse who is the subject of domestic abuse and who, together with any other dependents, is covered as a dependent on an individual policy or subscriber agreement naming an abusive spouse as the policyholder shall have the right to convert such individual dependent coverage to an individual policy without medical underwriting upon the judgment of divorce or judgment of legal separation from the abusive spouse. The converted policy shall be on the same policy form and shall provide the same benefits, including deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments, as the policy from which coverage is being converted. The spouse converting coverage shall thereafter have the same right to change benefits upon the anniversary date of the policy as in the policy from which coverage is being converted. The right to convert coverage shall become effective upon receipt of notice of termination of coverage under an abusive spouse’s policy or subscriber agreement, only if the abused spouse gives written notice within thirty days and provides the health insurance issuer with a copy of the divorce decree or separation order.
D. No health insurance issuer, nonfederal governmental plan, or person employed by or contracting with such entities shall disclose or transfer information related to the abuse status of an applicant or insured for any purpose or to any person except:
(1) To the subject of abuse or an individual specifically designated in writing by the subject of abuse.
(2) To a health care provider for the direct provision of health care services.
(3) To a licensed physician identified and designated by the subject of abuse.
(4) When ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction or otherwise required by law.
(5) When necessary for a valid business purpose to transfer information that includes confidential abuse information that cannot reasonably be segregated without undue hardship. Confidential abuse information may be disclosed only if the recipient has executed a written agreement to be bound by the prohibitions of this Section in all respects and to be subject to the enforcement of this Section by the courts of this state for the benefit of the applicant or the insured and only to the following persons:
(a) A reinsurer that seeks to indemnify or indemnifies all or any part of a policy covering a subject of abuse and that cannot underwrite or satisfy its obligations under the reinsurance agreement without that disclosure.
(b) A party to a proposed or consummated sale, transfer, merger, or consolidation of all or part of the business of the health insurance issuer or insurance professional.
(c) Medical or claims personnel contracting with the health insurance issuer or insurance professional, but only when necessary to process an application, to perform the health insurance issuer’s or the insurance professional’s duties under the policy, or to protect the safety or privacy of a subject of abuse. For purposes of this Paragraph, a health insurance issuer or insurance professional shall include a parent or affiliate company of the health insurance issuer or an insurance professional who has a service agreement with the health insurance issuer or insurance professional.
(d) With respect to the address and telephone number of a subject of abuse, to entities with whom the health insurance issuer or insurance professional transacts business when the business cannot be transacted without the address and telephone number.
(6) To an attorney who needs the information to represent the health insurance issuer or insurance professional effectively only if the health insurance issuer or insurance professional notifies the attorney of its obligations under this Section and requests that the attorney exercise due diligence to protect the confidential abuse information consistent with the attorney’s obligation to represent the health insurance issuer or insurance professional.
(7) To the policyowner or assignee, in the course of delivery of the policy, if the policy contains information about abuse status.
(8) To any other entities authorized by regulations adopted by the commissioner of insurance pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act.
E. Nothing in this Section shall prohibit a health insurance issuer or a nonfederal governmental plan from asking about a medical condition or from using medical information to underwrite or to carry out its duties under the policy, even if the medical information is related to a medical condition that the insurer or insurance professional knows or has reason to know is abuse-related, to the extent otherwise permitted under this Section and other applicable laws.