Pat Powers, a former Pierre functionary in the state Division of Insurance, took expection to this contention, saying that even if there is no statute explicitly forbidding insurance companies from making such a heinous exclusion, he had never seen a single instance of an insurance company being that big of a jerk in South Dakota.
ThePostSD.com's Any Dunkle gets the same encouraging story from Division of Insurance assistant director Randy Moses:
True, Moses said, there is no law in South Dakota that expressly prohibits a company from denying coverage to abused women in the individual market. (State and federal government do not allow such a policy in the group coverage market.)
However, the reality is, any insurance company doing business in South Dakota must first gain state approval for any policy, including the actual language in its policies.
“No insurance company is going to ask (to make abuse a pre-existing condition), nor have I ever seen one that asks about it,” said Moses. “And, South Dakota is not going to approve such a policy exclusion” [Amy Dunkle, "The Huffington Post Misinterprets SD Insurance Regulations," ThePostSD.com, 2009.09.29]
Thank goodness such evil is not being done in our name. However, I'm not quite ready to say the original story was wrong. Pandagon and the SEIU are technically correct in their interpretation of existing South Dakota policy: there is none prohibiting an insurance company from seeking to exclude women who are victims of domestic abuse. Such women are protected by the good intentions of the good people we have working in Pierre, but not by a specific law.