A law that prohibits the improper use of genetic information in both health
insurance underwriting and pricing and in employment decisions. The Act prohibits
health insurers from denying coverage to a healthy individual or charging that
person higher premiums based solely on a genetic predisposition to developing
a disease in the future. The legislation also bars employers from using individuals'
genetic information when making hiring, firing, job placement, or promotion
decisions. Here is an example of how the law might apply in an employment scenario.
A company requires preemployment physicals as a condition of employment. The
results of a prospective employee's physical examination indicate that she is healthy and
fully capable of performing the job duties for the particular position for
which she had
been hired. However, the examination also revealed that she has a genetic predisposition
for developing breast cancer. Under GINA, the employer would not be able to
deny the person the job, despite such a predisposition.
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