In a lawsuit filed in 2015, a gay man asserts that his insurance company, Mutual of Omaha, refused to sell him a long-term care policy on the basis that he uses the daily pill Truvada as PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) to avoid contracting HIV. The man is represented by the GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD). This week, according to a GLAD press release, the group filed a motion for summary judgment in the discrimination case.
A motion for summary judgment (MSJ) is a request for a court to rule that the other party has no case. Lawyers.com explains that such a request is made when a party claims there are no facts at issue or that the other party has no case. The party filing the MSJ is requesting that a case not go before a jury or that a jury could only rule in its favor.
“There is no legitimate reason for Mutual’s exclusionary rule. It has no business rationale and flies in the face of common sense,” said senior attorney and director of GLAD’s AIDS Law Project Bennett Klein in the release. “Mutual would insure the same person not on PrEP—who presents the higher risk of HIV. Mutual’s policy is illogical and contrary to how it treats other medications. The only explanation for the exclusion of people who take a drug associated with gay men is that it is based on aversion to gay male sexuality and nothing else. In our view, it’s pure homophobia.”
According to the release, Mutual of Omaha has claimed that its decision is justified because of concerns about medication adherence and a “lack of long-term data on the effects of Truvada.” But, GLAD counters, the insurer provides long-term care insurance to those on other medications.
According to the release, GLAD also cites depositions in which Mutual’s experts and medical director admitted that PrEP is ‘“highly effective” against HIV,” that “Mutual’s policy is contrary to its stated underwriting goal of reducing the number of people with HIV among its insureds” and that “while Mutual excludes applicants who take PrEP as directed and are at low risk for HIV, the company sells insurance to applicants who do not take PrEP and are thus at higher risk for HIV.”
To read POZ’s article about GLAD filing the lawsuit in 2015, click here. And for related information, read “Why Are Gay Men on PrEP Denied Disability and Life Insurance?”