Mass. Rules on Testing
For Aids DelayedAn unexpected amount of testimony at two days of public hearings means new state rules on Massachusetts insurers' testing for AIDS antibodies won't be decided until mid-September at the earliest.
Some 40 persons who attended Insurance Department hearings Tuesday and Wednesday offered views, pro and con, on the controversial limited test policy. The insurance industry wants no limits on testing while gays, social activists and civil rights groups want an absolute ban.
The policy under consideration would allow AIDS antibody testing for life and disability policies of more than $100,000 if insurers have the approval of Roger Singer, state insurance commissioner, and also offer a non- test insurance policy. No tests would be allowed for any health or group insurance policy.
Mr. Singer has said the hearings would likely not bring any major changes in the department's testing rules as originally proposed.
Bill Seeks Standards
For Radon Exposure
WASHINGTON - Rep. James Florio, D-N.J., has called the current federal warnings on radon exposure "clearly irresponsible" and introduced a bill to require stricter standards.
The legislation by Rep. Florio does not suggest an alternative to the current maximum exposure level deemed safe by the federal Environmental Protection Agency.
Rather, the bill would require the EPA to set a "safe, realistic level" for acceptable exposure to the odorless, invisible radon gas.
Radon is the natural byproduct of decaying, underground uranium. Trapped in homes or other buildings, the rising gas has been linked with lung cancer.
AIDS Tracking Plan
Unveiled in New Jersey
TRENTON, N.J. - State health officials plan to begin a program at year's end to stop the spread of the acquired immune deficiency syndrome by tracking down the former sexual partners of people exposed to the deadly virus.
Under the program, a person who tests positive for exposure to the AIDS virus may voluntarily identify former sexual partners - and possibly anyone with whom the person may have shared a syringe - to a health worker.
An AIDS counselor would then contact the people named, tell them they could have been exposed to the virus, give them information about the disease and encourage them to be tested.
Fugitive Says He Was
TORONTO - A New York man fighting extradition to the United States says his prosecution there for a multimillion-dollar insurance fraud was used by the state attorney general as a stepping stone to re-election.
Stuart Liebowitz, sentenced in 1984 to 7 to 21 years in jail for stealing $300,000 in insurance premiums, has testified he became a scapegoat for high insurance rates.
When he had exhausted appealing his convictions and a $1 million fine in 1985, he left for Canada under an assumed name.
He was operating a mortgage business with 24 employees in Toronto when he was arrested in April.
His lawyer, Charles Roach, argued that Mr. Liebowitz's prosecution and sentence in New York was motivated by political considerations. To back up that claim, Mr. Liebowitz said in district court that the New York media had painted him as the major cause of the rise in automobile insurance rates.
Rhode Island Targets
High-Risk Driver Rate
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The average high-risk Rhode Island driver would face a $572 increase in his automobile insurance coverage if state regulators approve a rate hike request.
The pool has asked the Department of Business Regulation for a 51.9 percent rate hike for the 46,646 drivers assigned to it. That is about 17 percent of the 300,000 drivers in the state.
The Rhode Island assigned risk pool, administered by the Automobile Insurance Plans Service Office, lost nearly $3 million in liability coverage and $1.2 million in personal property coverage in 1985, the latest year reported.