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Expand to Life and Long-Term Care

A Florida lawmaker is introducing a bill that would prevent life insurance and long-term care insurance companies from using genetic data in their coverage determinations, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

Federal law, the paper notes, bars health insurance companies from using genetic information in their policy coverage decisions, but that law does not extend to life or long-term care insurance. That, Chris Sprowls, the incoming Republican speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, tells the Sentinel, is a "massive loophole." His proposed bill would prevent those types of insurance companies from making decisions based on genetic data.

"It's kind of a new frontier of privacy," Sprowls tells the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. "As more genetic tests are done, you want to make sure that we protect them from having that information used inappropriately in a life or disability insurance situation."

The Sentinel adds that Sprowls, a cancer survivor, became aware of the issue when he was applying for life insurance coverage.

Mark Delegal, an insurance lobbyist, tells the Sentinel, though, that if customers have data indicating they are predisposed to disease, so too should the insurance companies.

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