Florida's Genetic Information Bill Heads to House Floor



The Florida genetic information bill is moving on to the state house floor. A panel passed a bill that would prohibit life, long-term care, and disability-insurance companies from using customers’ genetic information to change, deny or cancel policies.

Insurance companies would also be prohibited from using genetic information to set premiums.

Federal law already prevents health insurers from using genetic information in underwriting policies, but doesn’t apply to life insurance or long-term care coverage.

The bill's sponsor in incoming speaker Chris Sprowls and he says that's a massive loophole.

Sprowls worries about the growing popularity of genetic tests, such as Ancestry.com and 23andMe and growing usage.

“They intend to do it in the future, and that’s why you have seen such stark opposition from them because they would like to do it. I think it is inappropriate, and I think the quicker we can get ahead of it so it doesn’t happen and isn’t an issue for consumers, and prevent the problem, it’s our moral obligation.”

The House Commerce Committee passed the bill unanimously and the Senate is next to consider the companion measure.

In addition, 23andMe announced it is laying off 100 employees, 14% of its workforce, because of the waning trend DNA-testing.

If passed, Florida would become the first state to have a DNA Protection law.

Photo credit: Getty Images

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