Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act

TitleGenetic Information Nondiscrimination Act
Publication TypeCase Study
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsFunke, RD, Dillard, B, Potthast, A, Boxall, SF, Carr, E, Carr, S, Diaz-Sprague, R, Elliott, D, England, R, Price, C
PublisherAssociation for Practical and Professional Ethics
Publication Languageeng
AbstractNewly passed legislation, known as the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, prohibits health insurance companies from using genetic information to deny benefits or raise premiums for individual policies. The act also fines employers who use genetic information to make decisions about hiring, firing, or compensation up to $300,000.00 for each violation. However, some argue that the bill prevents employers from serving the public interest. For example, protecting public safety by allowing an individual to drive a bus or train if they have a latent health condition that poses a direct threat, such as seizures or a heart condition. Additionally, we could potentially reduce the cost of insurance by excluding individuals with high risk conditions and help to better allocate risk and cost. These individuals could still get insurance, but would have to pay the cost of their ultimate care directly, rather than sharing it with the overall population.
NotesCase Study from the 2008 Regional Ethics Bowls. Association for Practical and Professional Ethics.
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