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Florida Bill Restricting Life Insurers’ Use of Genetic Information Signed by Governor DeSantis

Florida has enacted House Bill 1189, which prohibits life and long-term care insurers from canceling, limiting, or denying coverage or adjusting premium rates based on genetic information.

As we previously reported, the bill amends Florida Statute 627.4301, which currently prohibits health insurers’ use of genetic information for insurance purposes. As amended, the statute removes former carve-outs for life, disability, and long-term care insurers, but certain carve-outs remain, such as those for accident-only policies, hospital indemnity or fixed indemnity policies, dental policies, and vision policies. The amended statute further provides that, in the absence of a diagnosis of a condition related to genetic information, life and long-term care insurers “may not cancel, limit, or deny coverage or establish differentials in premium rates, based on such information.” Additionally, those insurers are prohibited from requiring or soliciting genetic information, using genetic test results, or considering a person’s decisions or actions relating to genetic testing in any manner for any insurance purpose.

It is worth noting that prior to final passage, the bill was amended to include language instructing that it should not be construed as to prevent a life or long-term care insurer from “accessing an individual’s medical record as part of an application exam” or from “considering a medical diagnosis included in an individual’s medical record, even if a diagnosis was made based on the results of a genetic test.” Nonetheless, the amended statute will likely prevent life insurers and long-term care insurers from asking about or obtaining the results from direct-to-consumer genetic tests.

© 2020 Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP. All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume X, Number 183

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About this Author

Josephine Cicchetti Partner Drinker Biddle DC Corporate and Securities, Insurance, Privacy and Cybersecurity, Emerging Securities
Partner

Josephine Cicchetti is a corporate and securities lawyer who works extensively within the insurance industry. In addition, for the past several years, Jo’s focus has included emerging securities, privacy, cybersecurity, and insurance regulatory issues. She has represented insurance companies, producers, third-party administrators, investment managers, broker-dealers, and other insurance market participants.

Jo has extensive experience counseling clients in their development and distribution of fixed and variable insurance products. She has more than 20 years of...

202-230-5230
Nolan Tully, Insurance lawyer,Drinker Biddle
Partner

Nolan B. Tully advises clients in the insurance and financial services industries in litigation, regulatory and compliance matters. He represents insurers with respect to regulatory compliance issues, policy, insurance benefits, policy lapses, bad faith and fraud. In litigation, Nolan has represented clients on issues relating to policy lapses, the secondary market for life insurance, premium financing, fraud, and stranger-originated life insurance (STOLI).

Nolan is the co-leader of Drinker Biddle’s long term care insurance practice. He has assisted carriers in resolving issues relating to suitability, premium rate increases, developing antifraud programs, HIPAA, regulatory compliance and coverage issues. Nolan has also assisted clients with audits of various processes and procedures, including claims handling and HIPAA compliance.

215-988-2975
Christopher Petillo, Drinker Biddle, Litigation lawyer
Associate

Christopher F. Petillo assists clients with issues facing insurers in litigation concerning high-face value life insurance, privacy issues facing long-term care insurers, general liability coverage, and cyber liability. Chris assists life carriers in litigation concerning broker misconduct involving sophisticated tax avoidance and rebating schemes, fraud and misrepresentation, lapse, civil RICO, and secondary market issues such as stranger-originated life insurance and non-recourse premium financing. Chris also has experience representing annuity owners...

(215) 988-3355
Gail Kamal Insurance Litigation Attorney
Associate

Gail J. Kamal focuses on complex civil litigation and regulatory matters in the insurance and financial services industries in federal and state courts and in arbitration and mediation proceedings. She has experience with matters involving breach of contract, unfair competition and deceptive trade practices, employment classification, consumer financial protection laws, and cybersecurity and privacy.

Gail worked as a judicial intern for the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, and served a clerkship at the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Vaccine Litigation...

202-230-5239