Can Your Genetic Testing Results Impact Your Ability to Get Insurance?

The popularity and ease of genetic testing has rapidly increased over the past few years. With the ability to take a genetic test from the comfort of your home, without a medical provider involved, more and more individuals are getting information about their genetic health.

While the ease of testing has certainly been a barrier to receiving genetic health information, what most people may not consider is the potential impact of insurance coverage down the road. At this time, the federal Genetic Information Non Discrimination Act (GINA) has protections in place that prevent health insurers from asking about or using your genetic information to determine coverage or cost for a health insurance policy.

Unfortunately, an insurance company can ask you about your personal and family health history, including genetic testing prior to determining whether to offer you a policy or in determining how much to charge you for a policy when it comes to life insurance, long-term-care or disability insurance.

Most people are accustomed to life insurance underwriters/companies requesting medical records from their doctors prior to issuing a policy. While at-home DNA tests, like 23andMe, give you the ability to order the tests from the privacy of your home and keep the results out of your doctor’s medical file; life insurance and long-term-care companies have the ability to also ask you for this information. However, if you take a genetic test after you have already received a policy, your results cannot affect your coverage.