Consumer Advisory: Division of Insurance Cautions Life Insurers Regarding Naloxone Prescriptions

A prescription should not be the cause for denying coverage. 

DENVER (Feb. 14, 2020) – The Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI), part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), has recently notified  insurance companies of concerns in the way they collect and use information about an applicant’s medical history, in particular a person’s access to the opioid anti-overdose medication, naloxone, also known by its brand name, Narcan. 

Colorado law permits the purchase of naloxone by a family member, friend, or other person in a position to assist another person at risk of an opiate-related overdose. In issuing a bulletin (B-4.103 - Insurers Consideration of Naloxone Prescriptions in the Underwriting Process) that clarifies the DOI’s understanding of this law and its interaction with Colorado insurance law, the Division expects that insurers that issue life insurance, annuity contracts, sickness and accident insurance, or disability insurance will not deny an application, rescind coverage, or charge an applicant more for insurance due to the applicant having received a naloxone prescription. 

The bulletin states that while such insurers may use an applicant’s medical history in their decision making, the DOI expects companies to understand that a person with a naloxone prescription is unlikely to self-administer the drug, thus the prescription would only be for aiding a friend, family member or other person. It further states, that declining insurance applications, rescinding coverage, or charging higher premiums for people who are trying to help others by reducing opioid overdoses would be a serious blow to Colorado’s public health efforts.

If anyone believes they have been denied insurance or charged more due to a naloxone prescription, they should contact the Division of Insurance dedicated Consumer Services team to submit a complaint - 303-894-7490 / 800-930-3745 / DORA_Insurance@state.co.us.  

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The Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI), part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) regulates the insurance industry and assists consumers and other stakeholders with insurance issues.  Visit dora.colorado.gov/insurance for more information or call 303-894-7499 / toll free 800-930-3745


DORA is dedicated to preserving the integrity of the marketplace and is committed to promoting a fair and competitive business environment in Colorado. Consumer protection is our mission. Visit dora.colorado.gov for more information or call 303-894-7855 / toll free 1-800-886-7675


Media Contact:
Vincent Plymell
Division of Insurance
vincent.plymell@state.co.us 
p: 303-894-2261 | c: 303-910-9614