Long-Term Care Insurers Unrestricted by Genetic Information Protection Law

A federal law that prevents health insurers from raising rates or denying coverage because of an individual's genetic code does not apply to other types of insurers, such as those that sell life or long-term care insurance, according to a report by NPR.

Fearing that genetic testing and research could reveal information about an individual that could make them uninsurable or at risk of being fired by their employer, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, or GINA, was signed into law in May 2008.

Harvard Medical School genetics researcher Robert Green conducted a study that found people who discovered they had a gene associated with Alzheimer's disease were five times more likely to buy long-term care insurance.

That's dangerous to businesses who sell long-term care insurance because the pool of beneficiaries could become much riskier. GINA does not currently apply to this category of insurer, but politicians who introduced the law want to update it with more restrictions on insurers, according to the report.

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