Biology and You

You and Your Genes

What is meant by genetic discrimination?

Genetic discrimination refers to the use of genetic information by health insurers and employers to determine eligibility, set premiums (such as for health insurance), or hire and fire people. The U.S. Senate passed the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2003 on October 14, 2003, establishing basic legal protections that will prohibit discrimination in health insurance and employment on the basis of predictive genetic information. It was signed into law in 2008 and is supposed to fully protect the privacy of a person’s genetic information (although it does not cover life insurance and long-term care insurance).


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