Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 GINA

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 is a law that prohibits the improper use of genetic information in both health insurance underwriting and pricing and in employment decisions.

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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.