AURORA, Ill. – In order to ensure that private genetic information is not used against consumers, state Rep. Barbara Hernandez, D-Aurora, supported a bill recently signed into law that prohibits the transfer of this private information to insurance providers.
“As consumers, we prioritize the idea that our private information is secured and never shared without our consent,” said Hernandez. “At-home DNA kits like Ancestrey.com and 23&Me are a fun and interesting way to learn more about your family history, but these kits should not be a tactic for insurance providers to alter coverage or rates.”
Hernandez backed House Bill 2189, which amends the Genetic Information Privacy Act, stating that at-home genetic results cannot be shared without written consent from the consumer. This law plans to prevent insurance companies from increasing or denying coverage for consumers based on any discovered information from the test. There is no current federal law that prohibits these companies from accessing a person’s private information from them. The bill was signed by the governor and will take effect Jan. 1, 2020.
“Before this bill, there was nothing prohibiting insurance companies from accessing our most private information from these at-home genetic tests,” said Hernandez. “It is critical that our private information is not shared without our consent, especially to risk increasing the extremely high insurance rates that we already pay.”