Lawmakers in Florida are considering a bill that would prevent insurance companies in the state from considering customers' genetic data in life or long-term care coverage decisions, the Tampa Bay Times reports.
While the US Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 bars health insurers and employers from using genetic information when making coverage or employment decisions, the law does not prohibit life insurers or others from weighing such data in their decision-making process.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, the House subcommittee on insurance voted to approve the bill, which has been passed by the Senate subcommittee last month. It notes, though, that some lawmakers have said their support is contingent upon some changes to the bill.
Insurance lobbyists argue that the bill would prevent companies from knowing important medical information about their customers. "The concern we have," lobbyist Mark Delegal tells FlaPol, "is the person trying to purchase life insurance has some information we don't know or expect."
Proponents of the bill, like Rep. Thad Altman, though, say that inclusion of genetic information in insurance decisions could lead to a "genetic elite," according to FlaPol.