Protect South Carolinians from Genetic Discrimination! Pass H. 4218: Genetic Protection!

With the explosion of genetic information in the United States, the insurance industry has more genetic information than ever before. To protect South Carolinians from having their genes used against them, US Congress prohibited discrimination based on genetic factors in 2008 for employment. However, Congress excluded state insurance plans from which most life insurance and Long Term Care (LTC)  plans are written. Discrimination on the basis of genetic information is permitted in the purchase of these plans.  

This oversight by Congress means that genetic discrimination is alive and well in most states, including South Carolina. People living with ALS (and other) genes have been denied the purchase of life and LTC policies. 

Active genetic discrimination has a medical impact, as people delay or never get tested for inherited diseases in their families. This can cause delayed diagnosis, treatment, and planning, all of which can have a severe impact on one’s health. The current policy creates a perverse incentive to not be tested, leading to harm for the patient already facing one of the worst diseases known to humanity.  

Discrimination based on genetic information is alive and well in most states. However, Florida recognized this discrimination and outlawed the consideration of genetic information in the selling and purchasing of Life and Long Term Care products with the passing of HB 1189: Genetic Information for Insurance Purposes.  

South Carolina needs this piece of legislation to prevent genetic discrimination. Please join us in supporting  H. 4218 – Genetic Protection. 

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