Sunday, November 15, 2009

Here Comes GINA

Genetic The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) will become effective next week (Nov. 21), and Stephen Greenhouse at the New York Times has an overview.  Among the changes we'll see soon:

The most important new antidiscrimination law in two decades — the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act — will take effect in the nation’s workplaces next weekend, prohibiting employers from requesting genetic testing or considering someone’s genetic background in hiring, firing or promotions. The act also prohibits health insurers and group plans from requiring such testing or using genetic information — like a family history of heart disease — to deny coverage or set premiums or deductibles. . . .

The biggest change resulting from the law is that it will — except in a few circumstances — prohibit employers and health insurers from asking employees to give their family medical histories. The law also bans group health plans from the common practice of rewarding workers, often with lower premiums or one-time payments, if they give their family medical histories when completing health risk questionnaires. . . .

It will be interesting to see how the courts start applying GINA and the inevitable issues that will come up. Stay tuned.


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I can't help but think of the speed-dating scene in "40-Year-Old Virgin."

Posted by: jw | Nov 15, 2009 8:20:57 PM

Making insurance companies treat everyone as if they will cost the same amount seems like an odd way to run a private health insurance system. Not as odd as having a private health insurance system in the first place – I’m just saying.

Posted by: Philip Cohen | Nov 16, 2009 2:54:24 AM

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