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Protecting Your Privacy

You have some protections against genetic discrimination

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) was designed to protect you and your genetic information from being used in employment decisions and when determining your eligibility for medical insurance. In other words, your genetic information cannot be held against you regarding your job or being hired for a job, or in receiving medical insurance.

However, GINA does not offer protection in all cases. For example, if you undergo genetic testing for conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or Huntington’s disease and have a positive result, you may have problems purchasing life, disability or long-term care insurance, or receiving coverage. While GINA protects most employees, it does not protect you if you work for a company with 15 or fewer employees.

The National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) supports GINA and believes that no individual should be discriminated against on the basis of genetic information obtained from tests or family history.  NSGC supports the protections provided by GINA, and believes that no person should have to do without medical care, genetic testing, or participation in clinical trials and/or research studies out of fear that genetic information may be used against him, her or family members.

Learn more about GINA through the following resources: