The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) was signed into law on May 21, 2008. The law’s purpose is to ensure that genetic information is not used to discriminate against individuals in matters of employment or for insurance underwriting purposes. GINA Title I amends the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, the Public Health Service Act, the Internal Revenue Code, and the Social Security Act to prohibit discrimination in health coverage based on genetic information, and to expand upon the protections established under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). HIPAA already contains robust non–discrimination rules that prohibit a group health plan or group health insurance issuer from imposing preexisting condition exclusions based on genetic information. But GINA goes further. GINA prohibits group health plans, health insurance issuers in the group and individual markets, and issuers of Medicare supplemental policies from discriminating based on genetic information, and from collecting such information.
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