Bill Text: TX HB39 | 2021 | 87th Legislature 3rd Special Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to prohibited vaccination status discrimination and requirements for COVID-19 vaccines.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 20-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2021-10-12 - Referred to State Affairs [HB39 Detail]

Download: Texas-2021-HB39-Introduced.html
 
 
  By: Noble H.B. No. 39
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to prohibited vaccination status discrimination and
  requirements for COVID-19 vaccines.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
  ARTICLE 1. COVID-19 VACCINATION STATUS DISCRIMINATION PROHIBITED
         SECTION 1.01.  Chapter 544, Insurance Code, is amended by
  adding Subchapter N to read as follows:
  SUBCHAPTER N. COVID-19 VACCINATION STATUS
         Sec. 544.651.  DEFINITIONS. In this subchapter:
               (1)  "COVID-19" means the 2019 novel coronavirus
  disease.
               (2)  "Health benefit plan issuer" means an issuer,
  administrator, or sponsor of a health benefit plan described by
  Section 544.652.
         Sec. 544.652.  APPLICABILITY OF SUBCHAPTER. (a) This
  subchapter applies only to a health benefit plan that provides
  benefits for medical or surgical expenses incurred as a result of a
  health condition, accident, or sickness, including a group,
  blanket, or franchise insurance policy or insurance agreement, a
  group hospital service contract, or a group evidence of coverage or
  similar coverage document that is offered by:
               (1)  an insurance company;
               (2)  a group hospital service corporation operating
  under Chapter 842;
               (3)  a health maintenance organization operating under
  Chapter 843;
               (4)  an approved nonprofit health corporation that
  holds a certificate of authority under Chapter 844;
               (5)  a multiple employer welfare arrangement that holds
  a certificate of authority under Chapter 846;
               (6)  a stipulated premium company operating under
  Chapter 884;
               (7)  a fraternal benefit society operating under
  Chapter 885;
               (8)  a Lloyd's plan operating under Chapter 941; or
               (9)  an exchange operating under Chapter 942.
         (b)  Notwithstanding any other law, this subchapter applies
  to:
               (1)  a small employer health benefit plan subject to
  Chapter 1501, including coverage provided through a health group
  cooperative under Subchapter B of that chapter;
               (2)  a standard health benefit plan issued under
  Chapter 1507;
               (3)  a basic coverage plan under Chapter 1551;
               (4)  a basic plan under Chapter 1575;
               (5)  a primary care coverage plan under Chapter 1579;
               (6)  a plan providing basic coverage under Chapter
  1601;
               (7)  health benefits provided by or through a church
  benefits board under Subchapter I, Chapter 22, Business
  Organizations Code;
               (8)  the state Medicaid program, including the Medicaid
  managed care program operated under Chapter 533, Government Code;
               (9)  the child health plan program under Chapter 62,
  Health and Safety Code;
               (10)  a regional or local health care program operated
  under Section 75.104, Health and Safety Code;
               (11)  a self-funded health benefit plan sponsored by a
  professional employer organization under Chapter 91, Labor Code;
               (12)  county employee group health benefits provided
  under Chapter 157, Local Government Code; and
               (13)  health and accident coverage provided by a risk
  pool created under Chapter 172, Local Government Code.
         (c)  This subchapter applies to a life insurance company
  that:
               (1)  issues or delivers a life insurance policy in this
  state; or
               (2)  is organized under the laws of this state.
         Sec. 544.653.  PROHIBITED DISCRIMINATION AGAINST
  INDIVIDUAL. A group health benefit plan issuer or a life insurance
  company may not use an individual's COVID-19 vaccination status to:
               (1)  reject, deny, limit, cancel, refuse to renew, or
  increase the premiums for coverage of the individual under a plan
  offered by the issuer or company;
               (2)  limit the amount, extent, or kind of coverage
  available to the individual; or
               (3)  otherwise adversely affect the individual's
  eligibility for coverage.
         Sec. 544.654.  EFFECT ON OTHER LAW. This subchapter
  prevails to the extent of a conflict between this subchapter and any
  other law.
         SECTION 1.02.  Chapter 21, Labor Code, is amended by adding
  Subchapter H-1 to read as follows:
  SUBCHAPTER H-1. DISCRIMINATION BASED ON COVID-19 VACCINATION
  STATUS
         Sec. 21.421.  DEFINITION. In this subchapter, "COVID-19"
  means the 2019 novel coronavirus disease.
         Sec. 21.422.  PROHIBITED DISCRIMINATION BASED ON COVID-19
  VACCINATION STATUS. (a) An employer commits an unlawful
  employment practice if the employer fails or refuses to hire,
  discharges, or otherwise discriminates against an individual with
  respect to the compensation or the terms, conditions, or privileges
  of employment because the individual has not received a COVID-19
  vaccine.
         (b)  A labor organization commits an unlawful employment
  practice if the labor organization excludes or expels from
  membership or otherwise discriminates against an individual
  because the individual has not received a COVID-19 vaccine.
         (c)  An employment agency commits an unlawful employment
  practice if the employment agency classifies or refers for
  employment, fails or refuses to refer for employment, or otherwise
  discriminates against an individual because the individual has not
  received a COVID-19 vaccine.
         Sec. 21.423.  LIMITATION OF LIABILITY. An employer, labor
  organization, or employment agency is not liable for a claim
  arising from exposure to COVID-19 on the basis that the employer,
  labor organization, or employment agency failed to require an
  individual to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
         Sec. 21.424.  EFFECT ON OTHER LAW. This subchapter prevails
  to the extent of a conflict between this subchapter and any other
  law.
  ARTICLE 2. PROHIBITED COVID-19 VACCINATION REQUIREMENTS
         SECTION 2.01.  Section 38.001(b), Education Code, as amended
  by Chapters 43 (H.B. 1098) and 94 (H.B. 1059), Acts of the 80th
  Legislature, Regular Session, 2007, is reenacted and amended to
  read as follows:
         (b)  Subject to Subsections (b-1), (b-2), and (c), the
  executive commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission
  may modify or delete any of the immunizations in Subsection (a) or
  may require immunizations against additional diseases as a
  requirement for admission to any elementary or secondary school.
         SECTION 2.02.  Section 38.001, Education Code, is amended by
  adding Subsection (b-2) to read as follows:
         (b-2)  A student may not be required, as a condition of the
  student's admission to or continued enrollment in any elementary or
  secondary school, to receive a vaccine for the 2019 novel
  coronavirus disease (COVID-19). An elementary or secondary school
  is not liable for a claim arising from exposure to COVID-19 on the
  basis that the school failed to require a student to receive a
  COVID-19 vaccine.
         SECTION 2.03.  Subchapter Z, Chapter 51, Education Code, is
  amended by adding Section 51.91921 to read as follows:
         Sec. 51.91921.  COVID-19 VACCINATION REQUIREMENT FOR
  PRIVATE OR INDEPENDENT INSTITUTION OF HIGHER EDUCATION STUDENTS
  PROHIBITED.  (a)  In this section:
               (1)  "COVID-19" means the 2019 novel coronavirus
  disease.
               (2)  "Private or independent institution of higher
  education" has the meaning assigned by Section 61.003.
         (b)  A student may not be required, as a condition of the
  student's admission to or continued enrollment in a private or
  independent institution of higher education, to receive a COVID-19
  vaccine.
         (c)  A private or independent institution of higher
  education is not liable for a claim arising from exposure to
  COVID-19 on the basis that the institution failed to require a
  student to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
         SECTION 2.04.  Section 51.933, Education Code, is amended by
  amending Subsection (b) and adding Subsection (b-2) to read as
  follows:
         (b)  Except as provided by Subsection (b-2), the [The]
  executive commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission
  may require immunizations against the diseases listed in Subsection
  (a) and additional diseases for students at any institution of
  higher education who are pursuing a course of study in a human or
  animal health profession, and the executive commissioner may
  require those immunizations for any students in times of an
  emergency or epidemic in a county where the commissioner of state
  health services has declared such an emergency or epidemic.
         (b-2)  A student may not be required, as a condition of the
  student's admission to or continued enrollment in an institution of
  higher education, to receive a vaccine for the 2019 novel
  coronavirus disease (COVID-19). An institution of higher education
  is not liable for a claim arising from exposure to COVID-19 on the
  basis that the institution failed to require a student to receive a
  COVID-19 vaccine.
         SECTION 2.05.  Section 81.023, Health and Safety Code, is
  amended by adding Subsection (d) to read as follows:
         (d)  The department, in developing immunization requirements
  under Subsection (c), may not require a child to receive a vaccine
  for the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
         SECTION 2.06.  Section 224.002, Health and Safety Code, is
  amended by adding Subsection (b-1) to read as follows:
         (b-1)  The policy may not require a covered individual to
  receive a vaccine for the 2019 novel coronavirus disease
  (COVID-19).
  ARTICLE 3. TRANSITION AND EFFECTIVE DATE
         SECTION 3.01.  Each facility subject to Chapter 224, Health
  and Safety Code, as amended by this Act, shall modify the facility's
  vaccine-preventable disease policy to conform with the changes in
  law made by this Act not later than January 1, 2022.
         SECTION 3.02.  Subchapter N, Chapter 544, Insurance Code, as
  added by this Act, applies only to a health benefit plan or
  insurance policy delivered, issued for delivery, or renewed on or
  after January 1, 2022.
         SECTION 3.03.  Subchapter H-1, Chapter 21, Labor Code, as
  added by this Act, applies only to an unlawful employment practice
  that occurs on or after the effective date of this Act.
         SECTION 3.04.  (a)  The changes in law made by this Act to
  Title 2, Education Code, apply beginning with the 2021-2022 school
  year.
         (b)  The changes in law made by this Act to Title 3, Education
  Code, apply beginning with the 2021-2022 academic year.
         SECTION 3.05.  This Act takes effect immediately if it
  receives a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each
  house, as provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.
  If this Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate
  effect, this Act takes effect on the 91st day after the last day of
  the legislative session.
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