ERIC Number: EJ945931
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA): A Civil Rights Victory
Petruniak, Mark; Krokosky, Alyson; Terry, Sharon F.
Exceptional Parent, v41 n10 p15 Oct 2011
This article discusses the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) which President George W. Bush officially signed in 2008. The law prohibits employers from making adverse employment decisions based on a person's genetic information, including family health history. It also forbids insurance companies from discriminating against individuals by reducing their coverage or increasing premiums. In addition, employers and health insurers are not allowed to request or demand a genetic test under the law. Because of this legislation, Americans will be free to undergo genetic testing for diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer's without fearing for their job or health insurance. It is important that Americans understand what protections the law offers as well as its limitations. GINA is not applicable to members of the military, federal employees enrolled in the Federal Employees Health Benefits program (FEHB), veterans obtaining healthcare through the Veteran's Administration and individuals covered under the Indian Health Service, although many of these individuals have similar protections under other laws and policies. In addition, employers with fewer than 15 employees are exempt. Finally, although GINA applies to health insurance, its protections do not currently extend to life, long-term care, or disability insurance.
Descriptors: Health Services, Civil Rights, Genetics, Scientific and Technical Information, Civil Rights Legislation, Information Policy, Disability Discrimination, Information Sources, Equal Opportunities (Jobs), Employment Practices
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education
Authoring Institution: N/A