Some states allow insurance exclusions if a person is drunk

Sep 28, 2017

BY: CCNH-LFDA Highlights

About half of all states have a law that allows insurance companies to deny a medical claim for a person who was injured while impaired by drugs or alcohol.

Such "alcohol exclusion laws" started in the 1940s and were intended to discourage people from driving drunk.

New Hampshire does not have an alcohol exclusion law on the books.

A way to discourage drunk driving?

Supporters of alcohol exclusion laws argue that individuals may think twice before driving under the influence if they know they could be liable for thousands of dollars in medical costs.

Other supporters of alcohol exclusion laws argue that insurance policyholders should not have to pay for the consequences of criminal, unethical behavior.

Or does it just push the problem underground?

Opponents of alcohol exclusion laws argue that they discourage doctors from testing patients for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and discussing substance abuse, since a drunk patient cannot seek reimbursement.

Many patients also do not have the ability to pay for medical care without insurance, so alcohol exclusion laws just burden hospitals with more uncompensated care costs.

Do you think insurance companies in New Hampshire should be allowed to deny a medical claim if a person was drunk at the time? Let us know in the comments below.

Comments

Louise Shoffner
- Intervale

Sun, 10/08/2017 - 4:12pm

Alcohol abuse is rarely a choice, more often an illness that those who drink too much, drink and drive, etc., are not going to control on their own. It is just a way for insurance companies to be able to deny coverage, while the rest of society, the hospitals, etc., end up picking up the bill. I am against it.

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