Genetic discrimination occurs when people are treated differently by insurance companies or employers because they have a gene mutation that increases their risk of a disease, such as cancer. However, in 2008, GINA was enacted to protect U.S. citizens against discrimination based on their genetic information in relation to health insurance and employment . The parts of the law relating to health insurers will take effect between May 2009 and May 2010, and those relating to employers will take effect by November 2009. The law does not cover life insurance, disability insurance, and long-term care insurance. In addition, the law does not cover members of the military.
Some of the protections under GINA with regard to health insurance include the following:
Some of the protections under GINA with regard to employment include the following:
Before GINA was passed, many states enacted laws against genetic discrimination. The amount of protection provided by these laws varies widely from state to state. GINA sets a minimum standard of protection that must be met by all states. It does not weaken the protections provided by any state law.