Will Consumer Genetic Testing Affect My Ability to Get Health Insurance?
Genetic testing has greatly expanded in the last decade and there are now more genetic testing companies then ever, offering quality at home genetic testing kits. Many companies offer genetic tests that screen for a number of health conditions, there are genetic tests available for fitness, genetic testing kits for weight loss, genetic testing kits for diet, and many tests that can tell you what medications you are genetically predisposed to have either positive or negative reactions with. Genetic testing allows individuals the ability to unlock tremendous insights into their health, make more informed medical decisions, and has led to much more effective medical diagnoses in a host of medical arenas. With all of that information available to consumers, physicians, and medical companies there may be a downside, particularly when it comes to certain insurance products.
What You Need to Know About The Genetic Non-Discrimination Act of 2008 Or GINA
In 2008 Congress passed what is known as GINA, The Genetic Non-Discrimination Act, which protects American’s from having their genetic information, and genetic from being used against them by an insurance provider. The the Genetic Non-Discrimination Act states:
GINA prohibits health insurers from discrimination based on the genetic information of enrollees. Specifically, health insurers may not use genetic information to make eligibility, coverage, underwriting or premium-setting decisions. Furthermore, health insurers may not request or require individuals or their family members to undergo genetic testing or to provide genetic information. As defined in the law, genetic information includes family medical history, manifest disease in family members, and information regarding individuals’ and family members’ genetic tests.
While GINA protects you from having your health insurance company deny you health insurance coverage based on a genetic test, there are some insurance products such as long term care, life insurance policies, disability insurance,and insurance products that are considered “long term” care where you may have to disclose any genetic testing you have had performed recently.
Consumer Genetic Testing Will Affect Certain Types of Insurance
In conclusion, consumer genetic testing will not affect your ability to get health insurance, but if later in life you’re in need of life insurance or other long term care products, you may have to provide that information. Whether or not this will affect your premiums or ability to buy those products is on a case by case basis, and is something that should be discussed in depth with the person who is selling the insurance products.
If you believe that you have been discriminated against based on your genetic information or would like to learn more about the Genetic Discrimination Act, the following resources below are beneficial.