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Hereditary Cancer Info > Privacy & Legal Issues > Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)


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Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)

There are laws that protect the rights of people with an inherited mutation or hereditary cancer.

GINA overview

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) prohibits discrimination by health insurance companies and employers based on “genetic information.” In this case, “genetic information” is defined as: your genetic test results; your relatives’ genetic test results (up to and including fourth degree relatives); and/or information about family history of any disease or disorder. Information about your participation in research that includes genetic testing, counseling, or education is also protected. 

It is important to note that GINA does not apply to life, long-term care, or disability insurance. These insurers are permitted to use genetic or health information to make coverage or premium decisions. Some states have passed laws that go beyond the scope of GINA to prohibit genetic discrimination for "other insurances.” U.S. residents are encouraged to explore whether your state provides additional protections.

Updated 10/22/2019

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