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Increased Genetic Privacy in Florida

Florida's new genetic privacy law went into effect at the beginning of July, Florida Politics reports. It bars life, long-term care, and disability insurers from using genetic information in their coverage decisions.

Chris Sprowls, the Republican speaker-designate of the Florida House of Representatives, introduced the bill earlier this year with the aim of closing what he called a gap in federal genetic privacy protections. The federal Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act prohibits health insurance companies from using genetic information in their policy coverage decisions, as well as employers in hiring or firing decisions, but the law does not extend to life, long-term care, or disability insurance companies.

"Given the continued rise in popularity of DNA testing kits, 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," Sprowls writes on his Facebook page.