There’s good news for people worried about job and health insurance discrimination because of their genetic risk for diseases, including those with BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations, which put women at an increased risk for breast and ovarian cancer.
The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), which was signed into law last year, prohibits health insurers or health plan administrators from requesting genetic information of an individual. GINA also prohibits most employers from using genetic information for hiring, firing or promotion decisions and for any decisions regarding terms of employment. Regulations for the health insurance section of GINA will take effect on May 22, 2009 and the sections relating to employment will take effect on November 21, 2009. For complete details about the provisions in GINA, go to http://www.genome.gov/24519851.