Genetic Discrimination

Genetic Discrimination

Once you learn you have an inherited or genetic thrombophilia (clotting disorder), you may have questions.

  1. Will you face discrimination in employment?
  2. Will you be able to purchase health insurance?

To answer these questions you will want to know more about several laws designed to protect people from genetic discrimination. These include the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) and the Affordable Care Act (ACA – sometimes referred to as “Obamacare”)

  • The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) – GINA protects Americans from discrimination based on their genetic information in health insurance and employment with employers with 15 or more employees. It does not cover long-term care insurance, life insurance, or disability insurance.

  • The Affordable Care Act (ACA) – ACA prohibits discrimination against you if you have a preexisting condition, such as genetic clotting disorder, in the issuance of insurance. It also prohibits charging you more for your insurance for reasons other than your age and geographic location. This mean insurance companies can’t deny you coverage, nor charge you more because you have a genetic clotting disorder or because you had blood clots in the past

You can read about more about your rights and protections with regard to genetic discrimination if you have an inherited or genetic thrombophilia at the following links:

  1. Genetic Discrimination (2013): Reviews the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) of 2008, ACA, and other laws that relate to genetic discrimination. From the National Institutes of Health

  1. Information on the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) (2010): Explains in understandable terms what Gina does and what GINA doesn’t do.  From the Genetics and Public Policy Center Johns Hopkins University

  1. The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010: Overview and Legal Analysis of Potential Interactions. (2011): Information on the intersection between the ACA and GINA. This report provides a brief overview of GINA; an overview of relevant ACA and GINA provisions relating to the provision of health insurance through the private market and the implementation of employer wellness programs; and statutory analysis of the potential interactions between the related provisions in both laws. From the Congressional Research Service report prepared for Members and Committees of Congress


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