Genetic testing impacts life insurance policies

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has suspended the use of predictive genetic testing until the year 2014. allowing consumers to continue taking out cover without disclosing the adverse results of tests to predict a predisposition to cancer or heart disease.

Does that mean they will discriminate us later

Did they never heard of Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) the rule signed by US prsident with the intention of that will protect Americans against discrimination based on their genetic information when it comes to health insurance and employment.

Stephen Haddrill, the ABI’s Director General, said:

“The moratorium on the use of predictive genetic test results works well for consumers. It means people can insure themselves and their families, even if they have had an adverse result from a predictive genetic test. The moratorium has proved effective since its introduction in 2001 and can now continue

The moratorium was established in 2001 and covers policies worth up to £500,000 for life insurance, £300,000 for critical illness insurance and £30,000 a year for income protection insurance. The extension leaves consumers free to apply for cover up to these levels without advising an insurance company of the adverse results of any predictive genetic test they have taken.

According to the ABI, around 3% of policies sold in the UK are above these limits and in these cases, insurers can request predictive genetic tests but only if the tests are approved by an independent Government committee.

So far, the only test that has been approved in this way is for Huntington’s disease, for life cover over £500,000.The ABI has updated its consumer guide “Insurance and genetics: what you need to know”, which can be downloaded from its website. It will commence the next review of the moratorium in 2011

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