(a) Except as provided in chapter 37.3 of title 5, insurance administrators, health plans and providers shall be prohibited from releasing genetic information without prior written authorization of the individual. Written authorization shall be required for each disclosure and include to whom the disclosure is being made. An exception shall exist for those participating in research settings governed by the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Research Subjects (also known as “The Common Rule”). Tests conducted purely for research are excluded from the definition, as are tests for somatic (as opposed to heritable) mutations, and testing for forensic purposes.
Terms Used In Rhode Island General Laws 27-18-52.1. Genetic information
- contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
- covered benefits: means coverage or benefits for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, or amounts paid for the purpose of affecting any structure or function of the body including coverage or benefits for transportation primarily for and essential thereto, and including medical services as defined in R. See Rhode Island General Laws 27-18-1.1
(b) No individual or group health insurance contract, plan, or policy delivered, issued for delivery, or renewed in this state, which provides medical coverage that includes coverage for physician services in a physician’s office, and every policy which provides major medical or similar comprehensive-type coverage excluding disability income, long term care and insurance supplemental policies which only provide coverage for specified diseases or other supplemental policies, shall:
(1) Use genetic information or request for genetic information or the results of genetic information or other genetic information to reject, deny, limit, cancel, refuse to renew, increase the rates of, affect the terms or conditions of, or otherwise affect a group or an individual’s health insurance policy, contract, or plan;
(2) Request or require genetic information for the purpose of determining whether or not to issue or renew an individual’s health benefits coverage, to set reimbursement/co-pay levels or determine covered benefits and services;
(3) Release the results of genetic information without the prior written authorization of an individual from whom the information was obtained, except in a format where individual identifiers are removed, encrypted, or encoded so that the identity of the individual is not disclosed. A recipient of information pursuant to this section may use or disclose the information solely to carry out the purpose for which the information was disclosed. Authorization shall be required for each redisclosure. An exception shall exist for participation in research settings governed by the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Research Subjects (also known as “The Common Rule”);
(4) Request or require information as to whether an individual has genetic information, or participated in genetic information of any kind, whether for clinical or research purposes.
(c) For the purposes of this section, “genetic information” is information about genes, gene product, or inherited characteristics that may derive from the individual or a family member.
(P.L. 2001, ch. 38, § 2; P.L. 2001, ch. 54, § 2; P.L. 2002, ch. 292, § 33.)