Can an insurance company force you to take a blood test and penalize you if you don’t?

UPDATED: Apr 19, 2011

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Can an insurance company force you to take a blood test and penalize you if you don’t?

Our company’s insurance carrier (BC/BS) is forcing us to take blood tests 4 months after we’ve signed up. If we don’t comply our personal rates will be raised $50 a month. They will not let us go to our own doctors to have them done. We have to use who they bring in but they won’t have access to the results or so they say. Can they force us to do this?

Asked on April 19, 2011 under Insurance Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The first thing to do is to check your policy, your application, and any other documents from the insurerer which show the agreement between you and them. Insurance is a contract; the insurer can do anything the policy states it can--and only those things. So if the agreement gives them the right to request a blood test or raise your rates, they can do this. You can also call your insurer and ask them to point to the policy provision, term, etc. under which they can require a blood test or raise rates in what seems to be the middle of a policy year.

As a general proposition, either when you're first applying; when renewing; or mid-policy, if permitted by the terms of the policy, an insurer may require a blood test or else raise rates. They don't have to sell you insurance--they are allowed to set the conditions under which they do so.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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