Senator Markey Shares Strong Massachusetts Life Insurance Guidance on Naloxone with U.S. Surgeon General


Washington (February 13, 2019) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) this week sent a letter to the United States Surgeon General calling attention to recent guidance issued by the Massachusetts Division of Insurance, which addresses how life insurance companies should approach prescriptions for the opioid overdose reversal medication naloxone in underwriting analyses. A WBUR radio report from December 2018 highlighted the story of a good Samaritan who was denied life insurance because naloxone was included on the applicant’s list of medications. Massachusetts is the first state to issue this type of guidance in response to the reports of life insurance denials.


“Denial of a life insurance policy application solely because an applicant carries naloxone both impedes state and local efforts to expand access to it and undermines your April 2018 call for more Americans to carry the life-saving medication,” said Senator Markey in his letter to the U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams. “We must be doing all we can to make access to naloxone easier, not harder, for all Americans. Knowing that carrying naloxone could result in the denial of an insurance policy application would undoubtedly dissuade individuals from obtaining it to help save the life of a loved one or even a stranger.”


A copy of Senator Markey’s letter can be found HERE.


Senator Markey sent a letter to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) raising his concerns that life insurance applicants who carry naloxone, often known by the name brand Narcan, are being denied insurance even though they carry the medication to treat others, not for themselves. NAIC has previously told the Surgeon General that there is “no indication this is a widespread issue”.