The California Department of Insurance wants insurers to take care when writing the health history questions on health insurance coverage applications.
The California department has included health history questionnaire rules and other rules in new anti-rescission regulations that are set to take effect Aug. 18.
The department developed the regulations in an effort to reduce the likelihood that health insurers will rescind policies.
The new health history provisions require, for example, that insurers use a “reasonable layperson standard” when asking about an applicant’s health.
“Whenever possible, information from a [personal health record] shall be requested and, if available, relied upon during medical underwriting in addition to self-reported information on health history questionnaires,” officials say in the new regulations.
The California department has told insurers to make the period of time covered by a question “as short as possible.”