HEALTH INSURANCE

The past decade has seen a rapid development of new applications for genetic technologies in disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment. While these advances are of great importance to health providers and patients, they also raise the potential for restrictions on access to health insurance based on newly identified genetic risk factors. To date, despite a number of qualitative surveys of insurers and consumers, no systematic examination of the incidence of health insurance underwriting on the basis of predictive genetic information has been conducted. Despite the lack of widespread evidence of discrimination in enrollment policies and calculation of insurance premiums, forty-seven states and the federal government have passed regulations regarding the use of genetic information in health insurance coverage.

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