Print Friendly SENATE BILL NO. 1567 – Genetic test/discriminatn/insurance
SENATE BILL NO. 1567
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S1567......................................................by STATE AFFAIRS
GENETIC TESTING - Adds to existing law to prohibit discrimination on the
basis of genetic testing for health insurance or employment purposes.
03/13 Senate intro - 1st rdg - to printing
03/14 Rpt prt - to St Aff
|||| LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO ||||
Fifty-fifth Legislature Second Regular Session - 2000
IN THE SENATE
SENATE BILL NO. 1567
BY STATE AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
1 AN ACT
2 RELATING TO GENETIC DISCRIMINATION; AMENDING CHAPTER 13, TITLE 41, IDAHO CODE,
3 BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW SECTION 41-1334, IDAHO CODE, TO PROHIBIT DISCRIM-
4 INATION ON THE BASIS OF GENETIC INFORMATION FOR HEALTH INSURANCE; AND
5 AMENDING TITLE 44, IDAHO CODE, BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW CHAPTER 26, TITLE
6 44, IDAHO CODE, TO PROVIDE FOR CONFIDENTIALITY OF GENETIC INFORMATION.
7 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:
8 SECTION 1. That Chapter 13, Title 41, Idaho Code, be, and the same is
9 hereby amended by the addition thereto of a NEW SECTION, to be known and des-
10 ignated as Section 41-1334, Idaho Code, and to read as follows:
11 41-1334. GENETIC DISCRIMINATION PROHIBITED. No insurer providing individ-
12 ual or group health insurance, or managed care organization providing health
13 care services, shall refuse to insure, refuse to continue to insure, or limit
14 the amount, extent or kind of coverage available to an individual, or charge
15 an individual a different rate for coverage on the basis of genetic informa-
16 tion. Genetic information, indicating a predisposition to a disease or condi-
17 tion, shall not be considered a preexisting condition in the absence of a
18 diagnosis of such disease or condition based on other medical information.
19 Genetic information obtained by any organization covered by this section may
20 be used solely for diagnostic, therapeutic and/or medical research purposes.
21 As used in this section:
22 (1) "Genetic information" means information about genes, gene products or
23 inherited characteristics derived from genetic testing to determine the pres-
24 ence or absence of variations or mutations, including carrier status, in an
25 individual's genetic material or genes that are scientifically or medically
26 believed to cause a disease, disorder or syndrome or are associated with a
27 statistically increased risk of developing a disease, disorder or syndrome
28 that is asymptomatic at the time of testing.
29 (2) "Genetic testing" or "genetic test" means a test used to diagnose a
30 presymptomatic genetic factor or genetic trait, including analysis of human
31 deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) or ribonucleic acid (RNA), chromosomes, proteins
32 or metabolites. The term does not include a routine history and physical exam-
33 ination or a routine chemical, blood or urine analysis.
34 SECTION 2. That Title 44, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby amended
35 by the addition thereto of a NEW CHAPTER, to be known and designated as Chap-
36 ter 26, Title 44, Idaho Code, and to read as follows:
37 CHAPTER 26
38 GENETIC TESTING
39 44-2601. CONFIDENTIALITY OF GENETIC INFORMATION. (1) It shall be unlawful
40 for any employer, individually or through his employees, agents, or any person
1 or entity acting on his behalf:
2 (a) To request or require genetic information for an employee or person
3 seeking employment; or
4 (b) To discharge, expel or otherwise discriminate against any person on
5 the basis of genetic information; or
6 (c) Otherwise consider genetic information in employment decision-making.
7 (2) No person may sell to, or interpret for, an employer, any genetic
8 information pertaining to an employee without the written authorization of
9 that employee.
10 (3) For the purposes of this section:
11 (a) "Genetic information" means information about genes, gene products or
12 inherited characteristics derived from genetic testing to determine the
13 presence or absence of variations or mutations, including carrier status,
14 in an individual's genetic material or genes that are scientifically or
15 medically believed to cause a disease, disorder or syndrome or are associ-
16 ated with a statistically increased risk of developing a disease, disorder
17 or syndrome that is asymptomatic at the time of testing.
18 (b) "Genetic testing" or "genetic test" means a test used to diagnose a
19 presymptomatic genetic factor or genetic trait, including analysis of
20 human deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) or ribonucleic acid (RNA), chromosomes,
21 proteins or metabolites. The term does not include a routine history and
22 physical examination or a routine chemical, blood or urine analysis.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
Rapid progress in mapping the human genome has resulted in a growing
number of genetic tests which allow physicians to identify individuals who are at
increased risk of developing medical conditions with a genetic component. These
tests allow for greater monitoring for early manifestations of such conditions, thus
allowing earlier intervention and treatment. Eventually genetic research should
reduce health care costs, as the prevention and/or treatment of genetic conditions
catches up with genetic testing. However, genetic tests also provide the capacity
for abuse by insurers and employers who may view such individuals as avoidable
This bill would prohibit health insurers and employers from discriminating
against individuals who may have a genetic predisposition to a medical condition,
but who have not yet developed any of the symptoms of that condition. The bill
also protects individuals' privacy interests in their genetic information by
prohibiting insurers or employers from requiring them to submit to genetic tests or
to disclose the results of a genetic test.
By prohibiting discrimination on the basis of genetic information, the bill
creates a "level playing field" for health insurers and employers by discouraging
selective insurance and employment. This spreads the cost of insuring affected
individuals across all carriers and employers, rather than rewarding those who
discriminate and penalizing those who insure or employ such individuals. Many
individuals avoid genetic testing because they do not wish to jeopardize their
health insurance or employment. This bill addresses this fear and encourages
individuals to seek genetic testing when appropriate. This will lead to better
medical care at decreased cost, because early intervention is generally more cost
effective and may result in better patient outcomes than later remedial care.
Current Idaho law prohibits health insurers and managed care providers
from considering genetic information as a preexisting condition in policies offered
to employers in Title 41, Sections 2221 (b), 3940(b) and 4708(3)(b). This bill
extends this important public policy to individual policy holders. It further
clarifies that health insurers and managed care providers may not evade the
prohibition by denying insurance on the basis of such genetic information or
charging discriminatory rates. Prohibition of required genetic testing or required
disclosure of genetic test results will discourage abuses by employers and
insurers. This bill removes a major incentive for employers to discriminate by
prohibiting such discrimination in health insurance.
This legislation would have no fiscal impact on state funds.
Senator Sheila Sorensen
Kathy Ball Professor Daniel Levin
American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho Boise State University
392-6041, firstname.lastname@example.org 426-4080, email@example.com
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE/FISCAL NOTE S 1567