July 01, 2020

Florida Bill Restricting Life Insurers’ Use of Genetic Information Signed by Governor DeSantis

Florida has enacted House Bill 1189, which prohibits life and long-term care insurers from canceling, limiting, or denying coverage or adjusting premium rates based on genetic information.

As we previously reported, the bill amends Florida Statute 627.4301, which currently prohibits health insurers’ use of genetic information for insurance purposes. As amended, the statute removes former carve-outs for life, disability, and long-term care insurers, but certain carve-outs remain, such as those for accident-only policies, hospital indemnity or fixed indemnity policies, dental policies, and vision policies. The amended statute further provides that, in the absence of a diagnosis of a condition related to genetic information, life and long-term care insurers “may not cancel, limit, or deny coverage or establish differentials in premium rates, based on such information.” Additionally, those insurers are prohibited from requiring or soliciting genetic information, using genetic test results, or considering a person’s decisions or actions relating to genetic testing in any manner for any insurance purpose.

It is worth noting that prior to final passage, the bill was amended to include language instructing that it should not be construed as to prevent a life or long-term care insurer from “accessing an individual’s medical record as part of an application exam” or from “considering a medical diagnosis included in an individual’s medical record, even if a diagnosis was made based on the results of a genetic test.” Nonetheless, the amended statute will likely prevent life insurers and long-term care insurers from asking about or obtaining the results from direct-to-consumer genetic tests.

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