THE SENATE                           S.C.R. NO.            111
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            
                                                             
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                    SENATE  CONCURRENT
                        RESOLUTION

  REQUESTING THE INSURANCE COMMISSIONER TO CONVENE A WORKING
    GROUP TO STUDY THE USE OF GENETIC INFORMATION AND GENETIC
    TEST RESULTS FOR INSURANCE COVERAGE PURPOSES.


 1        WHEREAS, current law prohibits genetic information
 2   discrimination in health insurance coverage and legislation has
 3   been proposed that would prohibit genetic information
 4   discrimination in long-term care insurance coverage; and 
 5   
 6        WHEREAS, S.B. 136, S.D. 1, would prohibit a long-term care
 7   insurer from requiring an individual to undergo genetic testing
 8   or using genetic test results for purposes of underwriting a
 9   policy of long-term care insurance; and
10   
11        WHEREAS, this measure raises conflicting concerns about
12   requiring or permitting the use of genetic information and
13   genetic test results for insurance underwriting purposes; and  
14   
15        WHEREAS, studies have shown that insurers have used
16   genetic information to discriminate in the provision of
17   insurance coverage, and individuals may be disqualified or pay
18   higher premiums for long-term care insurance because their
19   family members have genetic conditions for which the
20   individuals are not at risk of developing; and 
21   
22        WHEREAS, in the 1970s, insurance companies denied coverage
23   or charged higher rates to African Americans who were carriers
24   of the sickle cell gene even though this condition did not
25   result in disease or increased medical problems; and
26   
27        WHEREAS, women with family histories of breast cancer have
28   been denied health, life, long-term care, and disability
29   insurance even though over ninety per cent of breast cancer is
30   not inherited; and 
31   
32        WHEREAS, the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits
33   discrimination in the provision of insurance coverage to
34   qualified individuals with disabilities; and  
35   

 
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                                  S.C.R. NO.            111
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1        WHEREAS, it is important that genetic information and
 2   genetic tests be accurately interpreted in order to apply
 3   actuarially sound principles to reasonably anticipated risks of
 4   disease; and
 5   
 6        WHEREAS, one study of physicians asked to interpret a
 7   genetic test result found that forty per cent of the physicians
 8   interpreted the test result incorrectly; and 
 9   
10        WHEREAS, mandatory genetic testing would infringe upon an
11   individual's "right to not know" about the presence of a
12   defective gene that may lead to a disease or condition for
13   which there is no known cure; and 
14   
15        WHEREAS, when a long-term care product is sold, an insurer
16   must be able to gather and use relevant medical information to
17   determine premiums appropriate to an individual's particular
18   level of risk; and 
19   
20        WHEREAS, a prohibition on the use of genetic information
21   may jeopardize an insurer's ability to underwrite long-term
22   care insurance based on medical information; and 
23   
24        WHEREAS, a discussion and study of all sides of the issue
25   is advisable before further legislation regarding the use of
26   genetic information or genetic test results for insurance
27   coverage purposes is enacted; and
28   
29        WHEREAS, this study should not be limited to long-term
30   care insurance, but should include genetic information issues
31   in life and disability insurance coverage; now, therefore, 
32   
33        BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Twentieth Legislature
34   of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 1999, the House of
35   Representatives concurring, that the Insurance Commissioner is
36   requested to convene and serve as chairperson of a working
37   group to study issues and make recommendations related to the
38   use of genetic information and genetic test information for the
39   purposes of underwriting long-term care, life, and disability
40   insurance; and 
41   
42        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the working group shall
43   include representatives from the following agencies and
44   organizations:

 
 
 
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                                  S.C.R. NO.            111
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1   
 2        (1)  Executive Office on Aging;
 3   
 4        (2)  Department of Health, Division of Family Health
 5             Services;
 6   
 7        (3)  Hawaii Medical Association;
 8   
 9        (4)  American Council of Life Insurance;
10   
11        (5)  State Farm Insurance Companies;
12   
13        (6)  Commission on Persons with Disabilities; and
14   
15        (7)  American Association of Retired Persons;
16   
17   and
18   
19        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Insurance Commissioner is
20   requested to report the working group's findings and
21   recommendations to the Legislature twenty days before the
22   convening of the Regular Session of 2000; and 
23   
24        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this
25   Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the Insurance
26   Commissioner, the Director of Health, the Healthcare
27   Association of Hawaii, the Hawaii Medical Association, the
28   American Council of Life Insurance, State Farm Insurance
29   Companies, the Commission on Persons with Disabilities, and the
30   American Association of Retired Persons. 
31 
32 
33 
34                         OFFERED BY:  ____________________________