GLAA responds to proposed HMO regulations
Fighting for Equal Rights Since 1971
P. O. Box 75265
Washington, D.C. 20013-5265
July 14, 1999
Mr. Reginald Berry
Acting Deputy Commissioner of Insurance
Department of Insurance and Securities Regulation
441 4th Street, N.W.
Suite 870 North
P. O. Box 37378
Washington, D.C. 20001
Dear Mr. Berry:
I am writing in connection with the “Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” published in the June 25, 1999 edition of the D.C. Register, amending Title 26 (Insurance) of the D.C. Municipal Regulations to establish requirements, standards, and procedures for the formation and operation of Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs).
Section 3513 deals with “Prohibited Practices.” Subsection 3513.3 reads, in relevant part: “No HMO shall discriminate against any enrollee or applicant for enrollment on the basis of the age, sex, race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, religion, marital status or lawful occupation of an enrollee, or because of the frequency of utilization of services by an enrollee.”
This wording is inadequate because is fails to reflect the full range of protected classes covered by the D.C. Human Rights Law of 1977 (Title 1, Chapter 25 Human Rights, D.C. Code).
This law prohibits arbitrary discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, and education on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, sexual orientation, personal appearance, family responsibilities, matriculation, political affiliation, physical handicap, source of income, and place of residence or business. The definition of public accommodations specifically includes (among other businesses) insurance companies and hospitals.
For the record, the terms “creed” and “ancestry” in Subsection 3513.3 are redundant.
Please send us a copy of the final regulations once they have been amended to reflect the D.C. Human Rights Law. Thank you for your attention.
cc: Councilmember Sharon Ambrose, Chairman, Committee on Consumer and
Carlene Cheatam, Director, Office of the Public Advocate
The Washington Blade