130th Ohio General Assembly
The online versions of legislation provided on this website are not official. Enrolled bills are the final version passed by the Ohio General Assembly and presented to the Governor for signature. The official version of acts signed by the Governor are available from the Secretary of State's Office in the Continental Plaza, 180 East Broad St., Columbus.

(126th General Assembly)
(Amended Substitute House Bill Number 235)



AN ACT
To amend sections 313.05, 313.08, 313.10, 325.17, 3705.16, 3705.29, 3705.99, 3901.21, 4705.01, and 4731.053 and to enact sections 313.123 and 313.23 of the Revised Code to make changes to the Coroner's Law and associated provisions of the Death and Fetal Death Certificate Law, to require that the rules of the State Medical Board allow a coroner's investigator who is not a physician to recite facts permitting a physician to pronounce a person dead without a personal examination, to permit a journalist or insurer to request certain information from the coroner, to allow a coroner to practice as an attorney at law in a court except under specified circumstances, and to specify who may view an autopsy.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio:

SECTION 1. That sections 313.05, 313.08, 313.10, 325.17, 3705.16, 3705.29, 3705.99, 3901.21, 4705.01, and 4731.053 be amended and sections 313.123 and 313.23 of the Revised Code be enacted to read as follows:

Sec. 313.05.  (A)(1) The coroner may appoint, in writing, deputy coroners, who shall be licensed physicians of good standing in their profession, one of whom may be designated as the chief deputy coroner. The coroner may also may appoint pathologists as deputy coroners, who shall assist in doing may perform autopsies, make pathological and chemical examinations, and perform other duties as directed by the coroner or recommended by the prosecuting attorney. The coroner may appoint any necessary technicians.

The coroner may contract for the services of deputy coroners to aid the coroner in the execution of the coroner's powers and duties. Contracts for the services of deputy coroners are exempt from any competitive bidding requirements of the Revised Code.

(2) The coroner may appoint, in writing, one or more secretaries and an official stenographer, who shall record the testimony of witnesses in attendance upon the coroner's inquest, preserve and file properly indexed records of all official reports, acts, and communications of the office, and perform other services as required by the coroner.

In counties where a coroner's office, laboratory, and county morgue are maintained, the (3) The coroner may appoint clerks, stenographers, custodians, and investigators, and shall define their duties.

(4) For the performance of their duties the, deputy coroners, pathologists serving as deputy coroners, and technicians, stenographers, secretaries, clerks, custodians, and investigators shall receive salaries fixed by the coroner and payable from the county treasury upon the warrant of the county auditor. The compensation shall not exceed, in the aggregate, the amount fixed by the board of county commissioners for the coroner's office.

(B) A coroner may appoint, as a deputy coroner, as a pathologist serving as a deputy coroner, or as a technician, stenographer, secretary, clerk, custodian, investigator, or other employee, a person who is an associate of, or who is employed by, the coroner or a deputy coroner in the private practice of medicine in a partnership, professional association, or other medical business arrangement.

Sec. 313.08.  (A) In counties in which a county morgue is maintained, the coroner shall be the official custodian of the morgue.

In all cases of the finding of the body or remains of a deceased person within a county in which a county morgue is maintained, when the identity of the deceased person is unknown, or the deceased person's relatives or other persons entitled to the custody of the body or remains of the deceased person are unknown or not present, the body or remains shall be removed to the county morgue, where it shall be held for identification and disposal.

(B) If the body or remains of a deceased person are not identified, a coroner shall do all of the following prior to disposing of the body or remains:

(1) Take the fingerprints of the body or remains of the deceased person, or cause the same to be taken, according to the fingerprint system of identification on the forms furnished by the superintendent of the bureau of criminal identification and investigation;

(2) Take or cause to be taken one or more photographs of the body or remains of the deceased person;

(3) Collect in a medically approved manner a DNA specimen from the body or remains of the deceased person;

(4) Promptly cause the fingerprints, the photographs, and the DNA specimen to be forwarded to the bureau of criminal identification and investigation for inclusion in the unidentified person database in accordance with procedures established by the superintendent of the bureau under division (H) of section 109.573 of the Revised Code. The bureau shall provide the fingerprint forms, specimen vials, mailing tubes, labels, postage, and instruction needed for the collection and forwarding to the bureau of the fingerprints and the DNA specimen and for the forwarding to the bureau of the photographs.

(C) Upon the request of a coroner who has the duty to take, or cause the taking of, fingerprints and photographs under divisions (B)(1) and (2) of this section, the bureau of criminal identification and investigation shall take, or assist in the taking of, the required fingerprints and photographs.

(D) The coroner may submit any evidence gathered in the investigation of a death to the bureau of criminal identification and investigation for assistance in determining whether the death resulted from criminal activity. The bureau shall assist in the evaluation of evidence submitted under this division.

(E) As used in this section, "DNA specimen" and "unidentified person database" have the same meanings as in section 109.573 of the Revised Code.

Sec. 313.10.  The (A)(1) Except as otherwise provided in this section, the records of the coroner, including, but not limited to, the detailed descriptions of the observations written during the progress of an autopsy and the conclusions drawn from those observations filed in the office of the coroner under division (A) of section 313.13 of the Revised Code, made personally by the coroner or by anyone acting under the coroner's direction or supervision, are public records, and those. Those records, or transcripts or photostatic copies of them, certified by the coroner, shall be received as evidence in any criminal or civil action or proceeding in a court in this state, as to the facts contained in those records.

(2) Except as otherwise provided in division (D) or (E) of this section, the following records in a coroner's office are not public records:

(a) Preliminary autopsy and investigative notes and findings made by the coroner or by anyone acting under the coroner's direction or supervision;

(b) Photographs of a decedent made by the coroner or by anyone acting under the coroner's direction or supervision;

(c) Suicide notes;

(d) Medical and psychiatric records provided to the coroner, a deputy coroner, or a representative of the coroner or a deputy coroner under section 313.091 of the Revised Code.

(3) In the coroner's discretion, photographs of a decedent may be used for medical, legal, or educational purposes.

Except for medical and psychiatric records provided to the coroner, a deputy coroner, or a representative of the coroner or a deputy coroner under section 313.091 of the Revised Code, all (B) All records in the coroner's office shall be that are public records are open to inspection by the public, and any person may receive a copy of any such record or part of it upon demand in writing, accompanied by payment of the transcript a record retrieval and copying fee, at the rate of fifteen twenty-five cents per hundred words, page or a minimum fee of one dollar.

(C)(1) The coroner shall provide a copy of the full and complete records of the coroner with respect to a decedent to a person who makes a written request as the next of kin of the decedent. The following persons may make a request pursuant to this division as the next of kin of a decedent:

(a) The surviving spouse of the decedent;

(b) If there is no surviving spouse, or if the surviving spouse has died without having made a request pursuant to this division, any child of the decedent over eighteen years of age, with each child over eighteen years of age having an independent right to make a request pursuant to this division;

(c) If there is no surviving spouse or child over eighteen years of age, or if the surviving spouse and all children over eighteen years of age have died without having made a request pursuant to this division, the parents of the decedent, with each parent having an independent right to make a request pursuant to this division;

(d) If there is no surviving spouse, child over eighteen years of age, or parents of the decedent, or if all have died without having made a request pursuant to this division, the brothers and sisters of the decedent, whether of the whole or the half blood, with each having an independent right to make a request pursuant to this division.

(2) If there is no surviving person who may make a written request as next of kin for a copy of the full and complete records of the coroner pursuant to division (C)(1) of this section, or if all next of kin of the decedent have died without having made a request pursuant to that division, the coroner shall provide a copy of the full and complete records of the coroner with respect to a decedent to the representative of the estate of the decedent who is the subject of the records upon written request made by the representative.

(D) A journalist may submit to the coroner a written request to view preliminary autopsy and investigative notes and findings, suicide notes, or photographs of the decedent made by the coroner or by anyone acting under the coroner's discretion or supervision. The request shall include the journalist's name and title and the name and address of the journalist's employer and state that the granting of the request would be in the best interest of the public. If a journalist submits a written request to the coroner to view the records described in this division, the coroner shall grant the journalist's request. The journalist shall not copy the preliminary autopsy and investigative notes and findings, suicide notes, or photographs of the decedent.

(E)(1) An insurer may submit to the coroner a written request to obtain a copy of the full and complete records of the coroner with respect to a deceased person. The request shall include the name of the deceased person, the type of policy to which the written request relates, and the name and address of the insurer.

(2) If an insurer submits a written request to the coroner to obtain a copy of records pursuant to division (E)(1) of this section, the coroner shall grant that request.

(3) Upon the granting of a written request to obtain a copy of records by the coroner, the insurer may utilize the records for the following purposes:

(a) To investigate any first party claim or third party claim asserted under a policy of insurance issued by the insurer that arises from the death of the deceased person;

(b) To determine coverage for any first party claim or third party claim asserted under a policy of insurance issued by the insurer that arises from the death of the deceased person;

(c) To determine the insurer's liability for any first party claim or third party claim asserted under a policy of insurance issued by the insurer that arises from the death of the deceased person.

(4) Prior to the delivery of records that are the subject of a request made pursuant to division (E)(1) of this section, the coroner may require the insurer who submitted the written request for the records to provide a payment to the coroner of a record retrieval and copying fee at the rate of twenty-five cents per page or a minimum fee of one dollar.

(5) Any records produced by the coroner in response to a written request under division (E)(1) of this section shall remain in the care, custody, and control of the insurer and its employees or representatives at all times. The insurer may not release or disclose the records to any other person unless any of the following apply:

(a) The release of the records is reasonably necessary to further a purpose described in division (E)(3) of this section.

(b) A court of competent jurisdiction orders the insurer to produce the records.

(c) The insurer is required to produce the records in response to a civil or criminal subpoena.

(d) The insurer is responding to a request for the records from a law enforcement agency, the department of insurance or a department of insurance from another state, or another governmental authority.

(F) The coroner may contact the decedent's next of kin to inform the next of kin that a journalist or an insurer has submitted a written request pursuant to division (D) or (E) of this section and whether the coroner has granted the journalist's or the insurer's request.

(G) As used in this section:

(1) "Full and complete records of the coroner" includes, but is not limited to, the following:

(a) The detailed descriptions of the observations written by the coroner or by anyone acting under the coroner's direction or supervision during the progress of an autopsy and the conclusions drawn from those observations that are filed in the office of the coroner under division (A) of section 313.13 of the Revised Code;

(b) Preliminary autopsy and investigative notes and findings made by the coroner or by anyone acting under the coroner's direction or supervision;

(c) Photographs of a decedent made by the coroner or by anyone acting under the coroner's direction or supervision;

(d) Suicide notes;

(e) Medical and psychiatric records provided to the coroner, a deputy coroner, or a representative of the coroner or a deputy coroner under section 313.091 of the Revised Code.

(2) "Insurer" has the same meaning as in section 3901.07 of the Revised Code.

(3) "Journalist" has the same meaning as in section 149.43 of the Revised Code.

Sec. 313.123. (A)(1) As used in this chapter, "autopsy" means the external and internal examination of the body of a deceased person, including, but not limited to, gross visual inspection and dissection of the body and its internal organs, photographic or narrative documentation of findings, microscopic, radiological, toxicological, chemical, or other laboratory analyses performed in the discretion of the examining individual upon tissues, organs, blood, other bodily fluids, gases, or any other specimens and the retention for diagnostic and documentary purposes of tissues, organs, blood, other bodily fluids, gases, or any other specimens as the examining individual considers necessary to establish and defend against challenges to the cause and manner of death of the deceased person.

(2) As used in this section, "DNA specimen" has the same meaning as in section 109.573 of the Revised Code.

(B)(1) Except as otherwise provided in division (B)(2) of this section, retained tissues, organs, blood, other bodily fluids, gases, or any other specimens from an autopsy are medical waste and shall be disposed of in accordance with applicable federal and state laws, including any protocol rules adopted under section 313.122 of the Revised Code.

(2) If an autopsy is performed on a deceased person and pursuant to section 313.131 of the Revised Code the coroner has reason to believe that the autopsy is contrary to the deceased person's religious beliefs, the coroner shall not remove any specimens, including, but not limited to, tissues, organs, blood, or other bodily fluids, from the body of the deceased person unless removing those specimens from the body of the deceased person is a compelling public necessity. Except as otherwise provided in division (B)(3) of this section, if the coroner removes any specimens from the body of the deceased person, the coroner shall return the specimens, as soon as is practicable, to the person who has the right to the disposition of the body.

(3) The coroner may retain a DNA specimen for diagnostic, evidentiary, or confirmatory purposes.

(C) A cause of action shall not lie against any employee of a coroner's office for requesting, ordering, or performing an autopsy in good faith under the authority of this chapter.

Sec. 313.23.  (A) As used in this section:

(1) "Interested person" means an employee of the coroner's office, a physician, dentist, nurse, professor at a medical school, medical student, medical resident, nursing student, an employee of a recovery agency, a member of a law enforcement agency, or any other person the coroner, in the coroner's discretion, determines is appropriate.

(2) "Recovery agency" has the same meaning as in section 2108.01 of the Revised Code.

(B) The coroner may allow an interested person to view an autopsy of a decedent without the interested person receiving permission to view the decedent's autopsy from the decedent's next of kin.

(C) No person who is under eighteen years of age and who is not an interested person may view an autopsy.

Sec. 325.17.  The officers mentioned in section 325.27 of the Revised Code may appoint and employ the necessary deputies, assistants, clerks, bookkeepers, or other employees for their respective offices, shall fix the compensation of such those employees and discharge them, and shall file certificates of such that action with the county auditor. Such The employees' compensation shall not exceed, in the aggregate, for each office, the amount fixed by the board of county commissioners for such that office. When so fixed, the compensation of each such deputy, assistant, bookkeeper, clerk, and other employee shall be paid biweekly from the county treasury, upon the warrant of the county auditor. The amount of the biweekly payment shall be adjusted so that the total amount paid out to an employee over a period of one year is equal to the amount such the employee would receive if he the employee were paid semimonthly. Each

Each of such the officers mentioned in section 325.27 of the Revised Code may require such of his the officer's employees as he deems the officer considers proper to give bond to the state, in an amount to be fixed by such the officer, with sureties approved by him the officer, conditioned for the faithful performance of their official duties. Such The bond, with the approval of such the officer indorsed thereon endorsed on it, shall be deposited with the county treasurer and kept in his the treasurer's office.

From moneys appropriated for their offices, the officers mentioned in section 325.27 of the Revised Code may contract for the services of fiscal and management consultants to aid them in the execution of their powers and duties.

Sec. 3705.16. (A) Each death or fetal death that occurs in this state shall be registered with the local registrar of vital statistics of the district in which the death or fetal death occurred, by the funeral director or other person in charge of the final disposition of the remains. The personal and statistical information in the death or fetal death certificate shall be obtained from the best qualified persons or sources available, by the funeral director or other person in charge of the final disposition of the remains. The statement of facts relating to the disposition of the body and information relative to the armed services referred to in section 3705.19 of the Revised Code shall be signed by the funeral director or other person in charge of the final disposition of the remains. The

(B) The funeral director or other person in charge of the final disposition of the remains shall then present the death or fetal death certificate to the attending physician or of the decedent, the coroner, or the medical examiner, as appropriate for certification of the cause of death. The If a death or fetal death occurs under any circumstances mentioned in section 313.12 of the Revised Code, the coroner in the county in which the death occurs, or a deputy coroner, medical examiner, or deputy medical examiner serving in an equivalent capacity, shall certify the cause of death unless that death was reported to the coroner, deputy coroner, medical examiner, or deputy medical examiner and that person, after a preliminary examination, declined to assert jurisdiction with respect to the death or fetal death. A physician other than the coroner in the county in which a death or fetal death occurs, or a deputy coroner, medical examiner, or deputy medical examiner serving in an equivalent capacity, may certify only those deaths that occur under natural circumstances.

The medical certificate of death shall be completed and signed by the physician who attended the deceased decedent or by the coroner or medical examiner, as appropriate, within forty-eight hours after the death or fetal death. The A coroner or medical examiner may satisfy the requirement of signing a death medical certificate showing the cause of death or fetal death as pending either by stamping it with a stamp of the coroner's or medical examiner's signature or by signing it in the coroner's or medical examiner's own hand, but the coroner or medical examiner shall sign a death any other medical certificate of death or supplementary medical certification in the coroner's or medical examiner's own hand. Any

(C) Any death certificate registered pursuant to this section shall contain the social security number of the decedent, if available. A social security number obtained under this section is a public record under section 149.43 of the Revised Code.

Sec. 3705.29.  (A) No person shall do any of the following:

(1) Purposely make any false statement in a certificate, record, or report required by this chapter or in an application or amendment of it, or purposely supply false information with the intent that such that information be used in the preparation of any such report, record, or certificate, or amendment of it;

(2) Without lawful authority and with intent to deceive, counterfeit, alter, amend, or mutilate any certificate, record, or report required by this chapter or any certified copy of it;

(3) Purposely obtain, possess, use, sell, furnish, or attempt to obtain, possess, use, sell, or furnish to another for the purpose of deception any certificate, record, or report required by this chapter or any certified copy of it, or any certificate, record, or report that is counterfeit, altered, or amended or false in whole or part;

(4) Purposely obtain, possess, use, sell, furnish, or attempt to obtain, possess, use, sell, or furnish to another for the purpose of deception any certificate, record, or report required by this chapter, or any certified copy of it, that relates to the birth of another person, whether living or dead;

(5) Without lawful authority, possess any certificate, record, or report required by this chapter or any copy of such a certificate, record, or report, knowing it to have been stolen or otherwise unlawfully obtained.

(B) No person employed by the office of vital statistics or a local registrar shall purposely furnish or possess a birth record or certified copy of a birth record with intent that it be used for deception.

(C) No person shall do any of the following:

(1) Purposely refuse to provide information required by this chapter or rules adopted under it;

(2) Purposely transport out of this state or accept for interment or other disposition a dead body without a permit required by this chapter;

(3) Knowingly prepare, issue, sell, or give any record or certificate that is alleged to be an original vital record or a certified copy of a vital record if the person knows or has reason to know that it is not an original vital record or a certified copy of a vital record;

(4) Refuse to comply with the requirements of this chapter or violate any of the provisions of this chapter.

(D) No officer or employee of the department of health shall knowingly reveal or provide any information contained in an adoption file maintained by the department under section 3705.12 of the Revised Code to any person, or knowingly reveal or provide the contents of an adoption file to any person, unless authorized to do so by section 3705.12 of the Revised Code.

(E) If a death or fetal death occurs under any circumstances mentioned in section 313.12 of the Revised Code, the coroner of the county in which the death or fetal death occurs, or a deputy coroner, medical examiner, or deputy medical examiner serving in an equivalent capacity, shall certify the cause of that death unless the death was reported to the coroner, deputy coroner, medical examiner, or deputy medical examiner and that person, after a preliminary examination, declined to assert jurisdiction with respect to the death or fetal death.

(F) No physician other than the coroner in the county in which a death or fetal death occurs, or a deputy coroner, medical examiner, or deputy medical examiner serving in an equivalent capacity, may certify any death or fetal death that occurs under any circumstances other than natural.

(G) If a death or fetal death occurs under any circumstances mentioned in section 313.12 of the Revised Code, no person shall knowingly present a death or fetal death certificate for the purpose of obtaining certification of the cause of death to any physician other than the coroner in the county in which the death or fetal death occurred, or to a deputy coroner, medical examiner, or deputy medical examiner serving in an equivalent capacity, unless that death or fetal death was reported to the coroner, deputy coroner, medical examiner, or deputy medical examiner and that person, after a preliminary examination, declined to assert jurisdiction with respect to the death or fetal death.

(H) No person, with intent to defraud or knowing that the person is facilitating a fraud, shall do either of the following:

(1) Certify a cause of death in violation of the prohibition of division (E) or (F) of this section;

(2) Obtain or attempt to obtain a certification of the cause of a death or fetal death in violation of the prohibition of division (G) of this section.

Sec. 3705.99.  (A) Whoever violates division (A) or, (B), or (H) of section 3705.29 of the Revised Code shall be fined not more than ten thousand dollars or incarcerated for a term of not more than five years, or both.

(B) Whoever violates division (C), (E), (F), or (G) of section 3705.29 of the Revised Code shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars or incarcerated for a term of not more than one year, or both.

(C) Whoever violates division (D) of section 3705.29 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

Sec. 3901.21.  The following are hereby defined as unfair and deceptive acts or practices in the business of insurance:

(A) Making, issuing, circulating, or causing or permitting to be made, issued, or circulated, or preparing with intent to so use, any estimate, illustration, circular, or statement misrepresenting the terms of any policy issued or to be issued or the benefits or advantages promised thereby or the dividends or share of the surplus to be received thereon, or making any false or misleading statements as to the dividends or share of surplus previously paid on similar policies, or making any misleading representation or any misrepresentation as to the financial condition of any insurer as shown by the last preceding verified statement made by it to the insurance department of this state, or as to the legal reserve system upon which any life insurer operates, or using any name or title of any policy or class of policies misrepresenting the true nature thereof, or making any misrepresentation or incomplete comparison to any person for the purpose of inducing or tending to induce such person to purchase, amend, lapse, forfeit, change, or surrender insurance.

Any written statement concerning the premiums for a policy which refers to the net cost after credit for an assumed dividend, without an accurate written statement of the gross premiums, cash values, and dividends based on the insurer's current dividend scale, which are used to compute the net cost for such policy, and a prominent warning that the rate of dividend is not guaranteed, is a misrepresentation for the purposes of this division.

(B) Making, publishing, disseminating, circulating, or placing before the public or causing, directly or indirectly, to be made, published, disseminated, circulated, or placed before the public, in a newspaper, magazine, or other publication, or in the form of a notice, circular, pamphlet, letter, or poster, or over any radio station, or in any other way, or preparing with intent to so use, an advertisement, announcement, or statement containing any assertion, representation, or statement, with respect to the business of insurance or with respect to any person in the conduct of the person's insurance business, which is untrue, deceptive, or misleading.

(C) Making, publishing, disseminating, or circulating, directly or indirectly, or aiding, abetting, or encouraging the making, publishing, disseminating, or circulating, or preparing with intent to so use, any statement, pamphlet, circular, article, or literature, which is false as to the financial condition of an insurer and which is calculated to injure any person engaged in the business of insurance.

(D) Filing with any supervisory or other public official, or making, publishing, disseminating, circulating, or delivering to any person, or placing before the public, or causing directly or indirectly to be made, published, disseminated, circulated, delivered to any person, or placed before the public, any false statement of financial condition of an insurer.

Making any false entry in any book, report, or statement of any insurer with intent to deceive any agent or examiner lawfully appointed to examine into its condition or into any of its affairs, or any public official to whom such insurer is required by law to report, or who has authority by law to examine into its condition or into any of its affairs, or, with like intent, willfully omitting to make a true entry of any material fact pertaining to the business of such insurer in any book, report, or statement of such insurer, or mutilating, destroying, suppressing, withholding, or concealing any of its records.

(E) Issuing or delivering or permitting agents, officers, or employees to issue or deliver agency company stock or other capital stock or benefit certificates or shares in any common-law corporation or securities or any special or advisory board contracts or other contracts of any kind promising returns and profits as an inducement to insurance.

(F) Making or permitting any unfair discrimination among individuals of the same class and equal expectation of life in the rates charged for any contract of life insurance or of life annuity or in the dividends or other benefits payable thereon, or in any other of the terms and conditions of such contract.

(G)(1) Except as otherwise expressly provided by law, knowingly permitting or offering to make or making any contract of life insurance, life annuity or accident and health insurance, or agreement as to such contract other than as plainly expressed in the contract issued thereon, or paying or allowing, or giving or offering to pay, allow, or give, directly or indirectly, as inducement to such insurance, or annuity, any rebate of premiums payable on the contract, or any special favor or advantage in the dividends or other benefits thereon, or any valuable consideration or inducement whatever not specified in the contract; or giving, or selling, or purchasing, or offering to give, sell, or purchase, as inducement to such insurance or annuity or in connection therewith, any stocks, bonds, or other securities, or other obligations of any insurance company or other corporation, association, or partnership, or any dividends or profits accrued thereon, or anything of value whatsoever not specified in the contract.

(2) Nothing in division (F) or division (G)(1) of this section shall be construed as prohibiting any of the following practices: (a) in the case of any contract of life insurance or life annuity, paying bonuses to policyholders or otherwise abating their premiums in whole or in part out of surplus accumulated from nonparticipating insurance, provided that any such bonuses or abatement of premiums shall be fair and equitable to policyholders and for the best interests of the company and its policyholders; (b) in the case of life insurance policies issued on the industrial debit plan, making allowance to policyholders who have continuously for a specified period made premium payments directly to an office of the insurer in an amount which fairly represents the saving in collection expenses; (c) readjustment of the rate of premium for a group insurance policy based on the loss or expense experience thereunder, at the end of the first or any subsequent policy year of insurance thereunder, which may be made retroactive only for such policy year.

(H) Making, issuing, circulating, or causing or permitting to be made, issued, or circulated, or preparing with intent to so use, any statement to the effect that a policy of life insurance is, is the equivalent of, or represents shares of capital stock or any rights or options to subscribe for or otherwise acquire any such shares in the life insurance company issuing that policy or any other company.

(I) Making, issuing, circulating, or causing or permitting to be made, issued or circulated, or preparing with intent to so issue, any statement to the effect that payments to a policyholder of the principal amounts of a pure endowment are other than payments of a specific benefit for which specific premiums have been paid.

(J) Making, issuing, circulating, or causing or permitting to be made, issued, or circulated, or preparing with intent to so use, any statement to the effect that any insurance company was required to change a policy form or related material to comply with Title XXXIX of the Revised Code or any regulation of the superintendent of insurance, for the purpose of inducing or intending to induce any policyholder or prospective policyholder to purchase, amend, lapse, forfeit, change, or surrender insurance.

(K) Aiding or abetting another to violate this section.

(L) Refusing to issue any policy of insurance, or canceling or declining to renew such policy because of the sex or marital status of the applicant, prospective insured, insured, or policyholder.

(M) Making or permitting any unfair discrimination between individuals of the same class and of essentially the same hazard in the amount of premium, policy fees, or rates charged for any policy or contract of insurance, other than life insurance, or in the benefits payable thereunder, or in underwriting standards and practices or eligibility requirements, or in any of the terms or conditions of such contract, or in any other manner whatever.

(N) Refusing to make available disability income insurance solely because the applicant's principal occupation is that of managing a household.

(O) Refusing, when offering maternity benefits under any individual or group sickness and accident insurance policy, to make maternity benefits available to the policyholder for the individual or individuals to be covered under any comparable policy to be issued for delivery in this state, including family members if the policy otherwise provides coverage for family members. Nothing in this division shall be construed to prohibit an insurer from imposing a reasonable waiting period for such benefits under an individual sickness and accident insurance policy issued to an individual who is not a federally eligible individual or a nonemployer-related group sickness and accident insurance policy, but in no event shall such waiting period exceed two hundred seventy days.

For purposes of division (O) of this section, "federally eligible individual" means an eligible individual as defined in 45 C.F.R. 148.103.

(P) Using, or permitting to be used, a pattern settlement as the basis of any offer of settlement. As used in this division, "pattern settlement" means a method by which liability is routinely imputed to a claimant without an investigation of the particular occurrence upon which the claim is based and by using a predetermined formula for the assignment of liability arising out of occurrences of a similar nature. Nothing in this division shall be construed to prohibit an insurer from determining a claimant's liability by applying formulas or guidelines to the facts and circumstances disclosed by the insurer's investigation of the particular occurrence upon which a claim is based.

(Q) Refusing to insure, or refusing to continue to insure, or limiting the amount, extent, or kind of life or sickness and accident insurance or annuity coverage available to an individual, or charging an individual a different rate for the same coverage solely because of blindness or partial blindness. With respect to all other conditions, including the underlying cause of blindness or partial blindness, persons who are blind or partially blind shall be subject to the same standards of sound actuarial principles or actual or reasonably anticipated actuarial experience as are sighted persons. Refusal to insure includes, but is not limited to, denial by an insurer of disability insurance coverage on the grounds that the policy defines "disability" as being presumed in the event that the eyesight of the insured is lost. However, an insurer may exclude from coverage disabilities consisting solely of blindness or partial blindness when such conditions existed at the time the policy was issued. To the extent that the provisions of this division may appear to conflict with any provision of section 3999.16 of the Revised Code, this division applies.

(R)(1) Directly or indirectly offering to sell, selling, or delivering, issuing for delivery, renewing, or using or otherwise marketing any policy of insurance or insurance product in connection with or in any way related to the grant of a student loan guaranteed in whole or in part by an agency or commission of this state or the United States, except insurance that is required under federal or state law as a condition for obtaining such a loan and the premium for which is included in the fees and charges applicable to the loan; or, in the case of an insurer or insurance agent, knowingly permitting any lender making such loans to engage in such acts or practices in connection with the insurer's or agent's insurance business.

(2) Except in the case of a violation of division (G) of this section, division (R)(1) of this section does not apply to either of the following:

(a) Acts or practices of an insurer, its agents, representatives, or employees in connection with the grant of a guaranteed student loan to its insured or the insured's spouse or dependent children where such acts or practices take place more than ninety days after the effective date of the insurance;

(b) Acts or practices of an insurer, its agents, representatives, or employees in connection with the solicitation, processing, or issuance of an insurance policy or product covering the student loan borrower or the borrower's spouse or dependent children, where such acts or practices take place more than one hundred eighty days after the date on which the borrower is notified that the student loan was approved.

(S) Denying coverage, under any health insurance or health care policy, contract, or plan providing family coverage, to any natural or adopted child of the named insured or subscriber solely on the basis that the child does not reside in the household of the named insured or subscriber.

(T)(1) Using any underwriting standard or engaging in any other act or practice that, directly or indirectly, due solely to any health status-related factor in relation to one or more individuals, does either of the following:

(a) Terminates or fails to renew an existing individual policy, contract, or plan of health benefits, or a health benefit plan issued to an employer, for which an individual would otherwise be eligible;

(b) With respect to a health benefit plan issued to an employer, excludes or causes the exclusion of an individual from coverage under an existing employer-provided policy, contract, or plan of health benefits.

(2) The superintendent of insurance may adopt rules in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code for purposes of implementing division (T)(1) of this section.

(3) For purposes of division (T)(1) of this section, "health status-related factor" means any of the following:

(a) Health status;

(b) Medical condition, including both physical and mental illnesses;

(c) Claims experience;

(d) Receipt of health care;

(e) Medical history;

(f) Genetic information;

(g) Evidence of insurability, including conditions arising out of acts of domestic violence;

(h) Disability.

(U) With respect to a health benefit plan issued to a small employer, as those terms are defined in section 3924.01 of the Revised Code, negligently or willfully placing coverage for adverse risks with a certain carrier, as defined in section 3924.01 of the Revised Code.

(V) Using any program, scheme, device, or other unfair act or practice that, directly or indirectly, causes or results in the placing of coverage for adverse risks with another carrier, as defined in section 3924.01 of the Revised Code.

(W) Failing to comply with section 3923.23, 3923.231, 3923.232, 3923.233, or 3923.234 of the Revised Code by engaging in any unfair, discriminatory reimbursement practice.

(X) Intentionally establishing an unfair premium for, or misrepresenting the cost of, any insurance policy financed under a premium finance agreement of an insurance premium finance company.

(Y)(1)(a) Limiting coverage under, refusing to issue, canceling, or refusing to renew, any individual policy or contract of life insurance, or limiting coverage under or refusing to issue any individual policy or contract of health insurance, for the reason that the insured or applicant for insurance is or has been a victim of domestic violence;

(b) Adding a surcharge or rating factor to a premium of any individual policy or contract of life or health insurance for the reason that the insured or applicant for insurance is or has been a victim of domestic violence;

(c) Denying coverage under, or limiting coverage under, any policy or contract of life or health insurance, for the reason that a claim under the policy or contract arises from an incident of domestic violence;

(d) Inquiring, directly or indirectly, of an insured under, or of an applicant for, a policy or contract of life or health insurance, as to whether the insured or applicant is or has been a victim of domestic violence, or inquiring as to whether the insured or applicant has sought shelter or protection from domestic violence or has sought medical or psychological treatment as a victim of domestic violence.

(2) Nothing in division (Y)(1) of this section shall be construed to prohibit an insurer from inquiring as to, or from underwriting or rating a risk on the basis of, a person's physical or mental condition, even if the condition has been caused by domestic violence, provided that all of the following apply:

(a) The insurer routinely considers the condition in underwriting or in rating risks, and does so in the same manner for a victim of domestic violence as for an insured or applicant who is not a victim of domestic violence;

(b) The insurer does not refuse to issue any policy or contract of life or health insurance or cancel or refuse to renew any policy or contract of life insurance, solely on the basis of the condition, except where such refusal to issue, cancellation, or refusal to renew is based on sound actuarial principles or is related to actual or reasonably anticipated experience;

(c) The insurer does not consider a person's status as being or as having been a victim of domestic violence, in itself, to be a physical or mental condition;

(d) The underwriting or rating of a risk on the basis of the condition is not used to evade the intent of division (Y)(1) of this section, or of any other provision of the Revised Code.

(3)(a) Nothing in division (Y)(1) of this section shall be construed to prohibit an insurer from refusing to issue a policy or contract of life insurance insuring the life of a person who is or has been a victim of domestic violence if the person who committed the act of domestic violence is the applicant for the insurance or would be the owner of the insurance policy or contract.

(b) Nothing in division (Y)(2) of this section shall be construed to permit an insurer to cancel or refuse to renew any policy or contract of health insurance in violation of the "Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996," 110 Stat. 1955, 42 U.S.C.A. 300gg-41(b), as amended, or in a manner that violates or is inconsistent with any provision of the Revised Code that implements the "Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996."

(4) An insurer is immune from any civil or criminal liability that otherwise might be incurred or imposed as a result of any action taken by the insurer to comply with division (Y) of this section.

(5) As used in division (Y) of this section, "domestic violence" means any of the following acts:

(a) Knowingly causing or attempting to cause physical harm to a family or household member;

(b) Recklessly causing serious physical harm to a family or household member;

(c) Knowingly causing, by threat of force, a family or household member to believe that the person will cause imminent physical harm to the family or household member.

For the purpose of division (Y)(5) of this section, "family or household member" has the same meaning as in section 2919.25 of the Revised Code.

Nothing in division (Y)(5) of this section shall be construed to require, as a condition to the application of division (Y) of this section, that the act described in division (Y)(5) of this section be the basis of a criminal prosecution.

(Z) Disclosing a coroner's records by an insurer in violation of section 313.10 of the Revised Code.

With respect to private passenger automobile insurance, no insurer shall charge different premium rates to persons residing within the limits of any municipal corporation based solely on the location of the residence of the insured within those limits.

The enumeration in sections 3901.19 to 3901.26 of the Revised Code of specific unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the business of insurance is not exclusive or restrictive or intended to limit the powers of the superintendent of insurance to adopt rules to implement this section, or to take action under other sections of the Revised Code.

This section does not prohibit the sale of shares of any investment company registered under the "Investment Company Act of 1940," 54 Stat. 789, 15 U.S.C.A. 80a-1, as amended, or any policies, annuities, or other contracts described in section 3907.15 of the Revised Code.

As used in this section, "estimate," "statement," "representation," "misrepresentation," "advertisement," or "announcement" includes oral or written occurrences.

Sec. 4705.01.  No person shall be permitted to practice as an attorney and counselor at law, or to commence, conduct, or defend any action or proceeding in which the person is not a party concerned, either by using or subscribing the person's own name, or the name of another person, unless the person has been admitted to the bar by order of the supreme court in compliance with its prescribed and published rules. Except as provided in section 4705.09 of the Revised Code or in rules adopted by the supreme court, admission to the bar shall entitle the person to practice before any court or administrative tribunal without further qualification or license.

No sheriff or coroner shall practice as an attorney at law in any court of this state, and no clerk of the supreme court or court of common pleas, or the deputy of either, shall practice in the particular court of which that person is clerk or deputy.

No coroner in a county with a population of one hundred seventy-five thousand one or more who elects not to engage in the private practice of medicine pursuant to section 325.15 of the Revised Code shall practice as an attorney at law during the period in which the coroner may not engage in the private practice of medicine.

No judge of any court of record in this state shall engage in the practice of law during the judge's term of office, either by appearing in court, by acting as advisory or consulting counsel for attorneys or others, by accepting employment or acting as an attorney, solicitor, collector, or legal advisor for any bank, corporation, or loan or trust company, or by otherwise engaging in the practice of law in this state, in or out of the courts, except as provided in section 1901.11 of the Revised Code.

A judge may complete any business undertaken by the judge in the United States district court, the United States circuit court of appeals, or the supreme court of the United States prior to the judge's election as judge.

Sec. 4731.053.  (A) As used in this section, "physician" means an individual authorized by this chapter to practice medicine and surgery, osteopathic medicine and surgery, or podiatric medicine and surgery.

(B) The state medical board shall adopt rules that establish standards to be met and procedures to be followed by a physician with respect to the physician's delegation of the performance of a medical task to a person who is not licensed or otherwise specifically authorized by the Revised Code to perform the task. The rules shall be adopted in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code and shall include a coroner's investigator among the individuals who are competent to recite the facts of a deceased person's medical condition to a physician so that the physician may pronounce the person dead without personally examining the body.

(C) To the extent that delegation applies to the administration of drugs, the rules adopted under this section shall provide for all of the following:

(1) On-site supervision when the delegation occurs in an institution or other facility that is used primarily for the purpose of providing health care, unless the board establishes a specific exception to the on-site supervision requirement with respect to routine administration of a topical drug, such as the use of a medicated shampoo;

(2) Evaluation of whether delegation is appropriate according to the acuity of the patient involved;

(3) Training and competency requirements that must be met by the person administering the drugs;

(4) Other standards and procedures the board considers relevant.

(D) The board shall not adopt rules that do any of the following:

(1) Authorize a physician to transfer the physician's responsibility for supervising a person who is performing a delegated medical task to a health professional other than another physician;

(2) Authorize an individual to whom a medical task is delegated to delegate the performance of that task to another individual;

(3) Except as provided in divisions (D)(4) to (7) of this section, authorize a physician to delegate the administration of anesthesia, controlled substances, drugs administered intravenously, or any other drug or category of drug the board considers to be inappropriate for delegation;

(4) Prevent an individual from engaging in an activity performed for a handicapped child as a service needed to meet the educational needs of the child, as identified in the individualized education program developed for the child under Chapter 3323. of the Revised Code;

(5) Conflict with any provision of the Revised Code that specifically authorizes an individual to perform a particular task;

(6) Conflict with any rule adopted pursuant to the Revised Code that is in effect on the effective date of this section April 10, 2001, as long as the rule remains in effect, specifically authorizing an individual to perform a particular task;

(7) Prohibit a perfusionist from administering drugs intravenously while practicing as a perfusionist;

(8) Authorize a physician assistant, anesthesiologist assistant, or any other professional regulated by the board to delegate tasks pursuant to this section.

SECTION 2. That existing sections 313.05, 313.08, 313.10, 325.17, 3705.16, 3705.29, 3705.99, 3901.21, 4705.01, and 4731.053 of the Revised Code are hereby repealed.

Please send questions and comments to the Webmaster.
© 2017 Legislative Information Systems | Disclaimer