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Genetic Discrimination Act Restriction Becomes Effective


The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 ("GINA") is a new federal law that protects Americans from discrimination and from being treated unfairly on the basis of differences in their DNA that may affect their health. President George W. Bush signed the Act into law on May 21, 2008, and a key portion pertaining to health insurers goes into effect May 21, 2009. The provision dealing with health insurers prevents those entities from denying coverage, adjusting premiums or otherwise discriminating based on genetic information. Prior to the enactment of this law, many states had adopted similar regulations, and GINA is designed to set the requisite minimum standards against genetic discrimination in the health insurance industry. This new law does not pertain to life insurance, disability insurance, and long-term care insurance.

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