Text: S.1694 — 104th Congress (1995-1996)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (04/23/1996)

 
[Congressional Bills 104th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[S. 1694 Introduced in Senate (IS)]

  2d Session
                                S. 1694

   To prohibit insurance providers from denying or canceling health 
 insurance coverage, or varying the premiums, terms, or conditions for 
  health insurance coverage on the basis of genetic information or a 
         request for genetic services, and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                             April 23, 1996

   Ms. Snowe introduced the following bill; which was read twice and 
         referred to the Committee on Labor and Human Resources

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
   To prohibit insurance providers from denying or canceling health 
 insurance coverage, or varying the premiums, terms, or conditions for 
  health insurance coverage on the basis of genetic information or a 
         request for genetic services, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Genetic Information 
Nondiscrimination in Health Insurance Act of 1996''.

SEC. 2. PROHIBITION OF HEALTH INSURANCE DISCRIMINATION ON THE BASIS OF 
              GENETIC INFORMATION.

    (a) In General.--An insurance provider may not deny or cancel 
health insurance coverage, or vary the premiums, terms, or conditions 
for health insurance coverage, for an individual or a family member of 
an individual--
            (1) on the basis of genetic information; or
            (2) on the basis that the individual or family member of an 
        individual has requested or received genetic services.
    (b) Limitation on Collection and Disclosure of Information.--
            (1) In general.--An insurance provider may not request or 
        require an individual to whom the provider provides health 
        insurance coverage, or an individual who desires the provider 
        to provide health insurance coverage, to disclose to the 
        provider genetic information about the individual or family 
        member of the individual.
            (2) Requirement of prior authorization.--An insurance 
        provider may not disclose genetic information about an 
        individual without the prior written authorization of the 
        individual or legal representative of the individual. Such 
        authorization is required for each disclosure and shall include 
        an identification of the person to whom the disclosure would be 
        made.
    (c) Enforcement.--
            (1)  Plans other than employee health benefit plans.--The 
        requirements established under subsections (a) and (b) shall be 
        enforced by the State insurance commissioner for the State 
        involved or the official or officials designated by the State, 
        except that in no case shall a State enforce such requirements 
        as they relate to employee health benefit plans.
            (2) Employee health benefit plans.--With respect to 
        employee health benefit plans, the Secretary shall enforce the 
        requirements established under subsections (a) and (b) in the 
        same manner as provided for under sections 502, 504, 506, and 
        510 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (29 
        U.S.C. 1132, 1134, 1136, and 1140).
            (3) Private right of action.--A person may bring a civil 
        action--
                    (A) to enjoin any act or practice which violates 
                subsection (a) or (b),
                    (B) to obtain other appropriate equitable relief 
                (i) to redress such violations, or (ii) to enforce any 
                such subsections, or
                    (C) to obtain other legal relief, including 
                monetary damages.
            (4) Jurisdiction.--State courts of competent jurisdiction 
        and district courts of the United States have concurrent 
        jurisdiction of actions under this subsection. The district 
        courts of the United States shall have jurisdiction, without 
        respect to the amount in controversy or the citizenship of the 
        parties, to grant the relief provided for in paragraph (3) in 
        any action.
            (5) Venue.--For purposes of this subsection the venue 
        provisions of section 1391 of title 28, United States Code, 
        shall apply.
            (6) Regulations.--The Secretary may promulgate such 
        regulations as may be necessary or appropriate to carry out 
        this section.
    (d) Applicability.--
            (1) Preemption of state law.--A State may establish or 
        enforce requirements for insurance providers or health 
        insurance coverage with respect to the subject matter of this 
        section, but only if such requirements are more restrictive 
than the requirements established under subsections (a) and (b).
            (2) Rule of construction.--Nothing in this section shall be 
        construed to affect or modify the provisions of section 514 of 
        the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (29 U.S.C. 
        1144).
            (3) Continuation.--Nothing in this section shall be 
        construed as requiring a group health plan or an employee 
        health benefit plan to provide benefits to a particular 
        participant or beneficiary.
    (e) Definitions.--For purposes of this Act:
            (1) Employee health benefit plan.--The term ``employee 
        health benefit plan'' means any employee welfare benefit plan, 
        governmental plan, or church plan (as defined under paragraphs 
        (1), (32), and (33) of section 3 of the Employee Retirement 
        Income Security Act of 1974 (29 U.S.C. 1002)) that provides or 
        pays for health insurance coverage (such as provider and 
        hospital benefits) whether--
                    (A) directly;
                    (B) through a group health plan; or
                    (C) otherwise.
            (2) Family member.--The term ``family member'' means, with 
        respect to an individual, another individual related by blood 
        to that individual.
            (3) Genetic information.--The term ``genetic information'' 
        means information about genes, gene products, or inherited 
        characteristics.
            (4) Genetic services.--The term ``genetic services'' means 
        health services to obtain, assess, and interpret genetic 
        information for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes, and for 
        genetic education and counselling.
            (5) Group health plan.--The term ``group health plan'' has 
        the meaning given such term in section 607 of the Employee 
        Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (29 U.S.C. 1167), and 
        includes a multiple employer welfare arrangement (as defined in 
        section 3(40) of such Act) that provides health insurance 
        coverage.
            (6) Health insurance coverage.--The term ``health insurance 
        coverage'' means a contractual arrangement for the provision of 
        a payment for health care, including--
                    (A) a group health plan; and
                    (B) any other health insurance arrangement, 
                including any arrangement consisting of a hospital or 
                medical expense incurred policy or certificate, 
                hospital or medical service plan contract, or health 
                maintenance organization subscriber contract.
            (7) Individual health plan.--The term ``individual health 
        plan'' means any health insurance coverage offered to 
        individuals that is not a group health plan.
            (8) Insurance provider.--The term ``insurance provider'' 
        means an insurer or other entity providing health insurance 
        coverage.
            (9) Person.--The term ``person'' includes corporations, 
        companies, associations, firms, partnerships, societies, and 
        joint stock companies, as well as individuals.
            (10) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary 
        of Labor.
            (11) State.--The term ``State'' means any of the 50 States, 
        the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana 
        Islands, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and Guam.
    (f) Technical Amendment.--Section 508 of the Employee Retirement 
Income Security Act of 1974 (29 U.S.C. 1138) is amended by inserting 
``and under the Genetic Insurance Nondiscrimination in Health Insurance 
Act of 1995'' before the period.
    (g) Effective Date.--This section shall apply to health insurance 
coverage offered or renewed on or after the end of the 90-day period 
beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act.
                                 <all>

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