Utah Bill Assures Coverage for Terminally Ill

Utah S.B. 271 has passed both houses of the state legislature.  It prohibits denial of coverage under a health benefit plan because of life expectancy or a terminal condition.

The bill mandates that a health benefit plan may not deny coverage for medically necessary treatment if(1) it is prescribed by a physician; (2) it is agreed to by the patient/surrogate, and (3) the patient/surrogate is fully informed regarding life expectancy or diagnosis with a terminal condition. 

Specifically, the health plan may not deny coverage solely because: (1) of the life expectancy of the patient, or (2) the patient has been diagnosed with a terminal condition.

The bill clarifies that it does not require an insurer to offer any particular benefit or service as part of a health benefit.  The plan just cannot deny already covered services based on the beneficiary’s  terminal status.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.