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President signs Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) became law after President Bush signed the bill on Wednesday afternoon, May 21, 2008.

GINA prohibits health insurance companies from requiring people to take genetic tests or to use genetic information to deny insurance coverage or rates. It is illegal for employers to ask workers about their genetic information or use that information to make any decisions regarding hiring, firing, promotions or job assignments.

Supporters of the legislation hope that GINA will encourage more people to undergo medically advised genetic testing, without the fear of losing their job or insurance coverage on the basis of genetic test results.

Legal provisions affecting employers take effect in November 2009, 18 months from the date the bill was signed. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission will enforce the employer provisions and must develop the new regulations in the next year and a half.

The Department of Labor will issue regulations which health insurance providers must follow starting May 2009, one year from the bill’s signing.
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3 comments:

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Canada life insurance said...

If I can speak, I don't believe it will help at all. Genetic testing is a great step for medicine, but for sure it will be used also by insurance companies. I am dealing life insurance in Canada so I know there are always ways, how to avoid control. For example, positive discrimination instead of negative - you can distinguish clients easily just by announcing bonuses for providing your tests.

Lorne

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