California Protections in Life and Disability Insurance

California Genetic Nondiscrimination Protections in Life and Disability Insurance

California Insurance Code Section 10140, 10143 and 10146-10149.1

Definitions: “Genetic characteristics” means either of the following:

(1) Any scientifically or medically identifiable gene or chromosome, or combination or alteration thereof, that is known to be a cause of a disease or disorder in a person or his or her offspring, or that is determined to be associated with a statistically increased risk of development of a disease or disorder, and which is presently not associated with any symptoms of any disease or disorder.

(2) Inherited characteristics that may derive from the individual or family member, that are known to be a cause of a disease or disorder in a person or his or her offspring, or that are determined to be associated with a statistically increased risk of development of a disease or disorder, and that are presently not associated with any symptoms of any disease or disorder.

General Provisions:

These provisions prohibit disability insurers from discriminating against subscribers or prospective subscribers in either enrollment or premiums based on genetic characteristics that may be associated with a future disability in the subscriber or the subscriber’s children. Both life and disability insurers are prohibited from discrimination based solely on carrier status for recessive disorders.

The insurance codes limit life and disability insurers from requiring genetic testing as a condition of eligibility for enrollment, except for therapeutic reasons.

They also prescribe penalties for the unauthorized release of genetic test results.

See: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=ins&group=10001-11000&file=10140-10145.4