The Florida Legislature sent a bill to the governor's desk Wednesday that would prohibit insurers from using customers’ genetic information in changing, denying or canceling policies.
It is not known if Gov. Ron DeSantis, R, will sign the bill, which is generally opposed by the insurance industry.
The Florida House of Representatives passed a bill Jan. 29. Sen. Kelli Stargel, R, sponsored the Senate bill and made one significant change: to allow insurers to use genetic information included in a consumer's medical record.
"Insurers may use genetic information for underwriting purposes only if (1) genetic information is contained in the medical record, (2) the use of any genetic testing results is limited to what is in the medical record, (3) the genetic information is relevant to a potential medical condition that impacts mortality or morbidity risk, and (4) the genetic information is related to expected mortality or morbidity based on sound actuarial principles or reasonably expected experience,” the law firm Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath said in an alert.
State and federal law already prevent health insurance companies from considering a person’s genetic information when deciding if and at what price to cover that consumer. The Florida legislation would extend that ban to life, disability and long-term care insurers.
Supporters of blocking the use of genetic information point to privacy concerns.
If DeSantis signs the bill, Florida would become the latest of several states, including California, Vermont, and Maine, to restrict the use of genetic information by life insurers.
InsuranceNewsNet Senior Editor John Hilton has covered business and other beats in more than 20 years of daily journalism. John may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @INNJohnH.
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