Consumer Access to Vital Financial Security Products Threatened by PRO Act

Ensuring your financial security can be daunting. From understanding investment options in your 401(k) to assessing the type and amount of life insurance needed to support your family – there are many choices to be made. Experienced professionals can help – including insurance producers, independent broker dealers (IBDs) and independent financial advisors (IFAs). Not only do these professionals have the expertise and knowledge to provide consumers with many choices, they understand how to assess a person’s financial situation holistically and provide products that best fit their needs. Yet, legislation that was just passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, H.R. 2474, … Continue reading "Consumer Access to Vital Financial Security Products Threatened by PRO Act"

Consumers’ Own Interest at Stake with Genetic Privacy Bill

This op-ed originally appeared in the South Florida Sun Sentinel. Much more is at stake than advertised in a bill — HB 1189/SB 1564 — titled, “Genetic Information for Insurance Purposes,” sponsored by Florida House Speaker-designate Chris Sprowls and state Senator Kelli Stargel. It is not just about people being able to keep private genetic information gained from an entertaining Ancestry.com or 23andMe at-home genetic testing kit. If that was the only issue at stake, we’d support the measure. It’s about denying the consideration of any and all genetic information in the life insurance policy application process, not just information generated by an at-home test. If … Continue reading "Consumers’ Own Interest at Stake with Genetic Privacy Bill"

Let Floridians Use Their Own Personal Information

Legislation introduced in Florida this week would block consumers from using their own personal information to get a lower rate for life insurance. To make matters worse, it would also cut some of the state’s neediest residents off from protecting themselves and their loved ones with life insurance by making it too expensive. The bill would ban consumers from sharing any information in their medical record with a life insurer—even critical information documenting their health—if it is derived from a genetic test. Life insurance depends on medical records, and the system that works for all consumers depends on honesty in … Continue reading "Let Floridians Use Their Own Personal Information"

Life Insurers Rely on Medical Records, Not At-Home Genetic Tests

Welcome, consumer-based genetic testers, to Washington, D.C. This town could use a briefing on exactly how you’re handling your customers’ personal information. Please include in your Talking Points a big bullet that says: America’s life insurers have no access to the results of direct-to-consumer genetic tests. And, please add that they don’t want it. Call them old fashioned or traditional, but in the underwriting process, life insurers rely on verified, doctor-ordered information found in an applicant’s medical record. This information will help dispel the myth that our respective industries are in cahoots.  Ethnicity tests, for example, provide life insurers no … Continue reading "Life Insurers Rely on Medical Records, Not At-Home Genetic Tests"