On Wednesday, Florida Ron DeSantis signed into law HB 1189 – Genetic Information for Insurance Purposes, making Florida the first state to guarantee DNA privacy for customers’ life, disability, and long-term care insurance.
According to the bill:
The bill provides that life insurers and long-term care insurers may not cancel, limit, or deny coverage or establish differentials in insurance rates based on genetic information. Such insurers also may not require or solicit genetic information, use genetic test results, or consider a person’s decisions or actions relating to genetic testing in any manner for any insurance purpose. The bill applies to life insurers and long-term care insurers the existing prohibitions that apply to health insurers.
The bill specifies that these prohibitions do not prevent a life insurer or long-term care insurer from accessing an individual’s medical record as part of an application exam or considering a medical diagnosis included in the medical record, even if a diagnosis was made based on the results of a genetic test.
The bill sponsored by Rep. Chris Sprowls, Republican from Palm Harbor. “Given the continued rise in popularity of DNA testing kits (like 23andMe or Ancestry), it was imperative that we take action, in order to protect Floridians’ DNA data from falling into the hands of an insurer who could potentially weaponize that information against current or prospective policyholders in the form of rate increases or exclusionary policies.”
Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, who sponsored the Senate version of Sprowls’ bill, said it will “rightfully protect Floridians from violations of privacy.”
“I am proud of our state for being the first in the nation to protect our citizens from this threat,” Stargel said. “It is my hope that with this legislation signed into law that it will become a model for the rest of the country as DNA testing becomes more ubiquitous and the need for privacy laws becomes even greater.”
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