Law Prohibiting Genetic Discrimination Soon In Effect

4:52 pm

Emergency room sign. Image courtesy of sgroi.

Emergency room sign. Image courtesy of sgroi.

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, or GINA, will go into effect on December 7, 2009. The law prohibits the use of family medical history or genetic testing as grounds for an insurance company to deny insurance or increase rates. This means good news for a lot of people who have histories of congenital disease running through their families.

This may bring up interesting questions about insurance and where to draw the line. If one is prone to accidents, should that person have a higher rate than others? So far, that’s the most basic level of how the system works. The real question now becomes what the difference is between a person who has been injured several times and a person who is highly likely to develop a disease.

Obviously, this law takes the stance that a congenital disease is not good enough grounds to base insurance rates off of. However, some might argue that further concessions are only a step away. Is there a point when everyone is paying the same amount for insurance, and will companies base their prices off of that? If so, everyone splits the same portion of the burden.

On the other hand, the degree to which congenital diseases could previously affect insurance rates may have been excessive. In fact, many people were entirely denied insurance coverage based on their family history. In this situation, one person is sidled with the entire cost of his or her medical care.

There is obviously no way to appease everyone as far as medical care and insurance are concerned. However, we can always take small steps toward helping more people. If you want more information on the subject, check out this California state health insurance site.

As always, I invite you to share your opinions on the subject. I’d like to know what you think about the state of health insurance in the US.

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