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Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008

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Chapter 1

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, GINA (H.R. 493) has three major components. The first component is Title I: Genetic Nondiscrimination in Health Insurance. This component aims at preventing insurance companies from discriminating consumers based on their genetic information (Congress.gov. 2008). To ensure this, this component prohibits health providers and insurance companies from asking for genetic information or subjecting consumers to tests to establish their genetic information to use in determining the amount of premium that they should pay or to use the information to influence their enrollment for health insurance services. This component also restricts group health plans from purchasing the genetic information of an individual for underwriting purposes; however, this component does not prohibit group plans to request for genetic information for utilization in scientific research studies (Asmonga, 2008). The section authorizes an imposition of penalties on group health plans that violate the requirements of this Act.

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Chapter 2

The second key component of GINA Title II: Prohibiting Employment Discrimination on the Basis of Genetic Information (Congress.gov. 2008). This component states that no employer should deny an employment opportunity to a genuinely qualified individual based on his or her genetic composition (Jones & Sarata, 2008). It also prohibits employers from expelling an employee or refusing to refer an employee due to his genetic information. The purchase of genetic information of individuals is an unlawful employment practice under this component.

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The third component of GINA is Title III: Miscellaneous Provisions. It states that any amendment that is made in this act or by this act in the labor industry because it is considered unconstitutional, the other parts of this Act will not be affected (Congress.gov. 2008).

1. Asmonga, D. D. (2008). Getting to Know GINA: An Overview of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. Journal of AHIMA, 79(7), 18-22.

2. Congress.gov. (2008). H.R.493 – Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008. Retrieved from, https://www.congress.gov/bill/110th-congress/house-bill/00493

3. Jones, N. L. & Sarata, A. K. (2008). H.R.493 – Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 GINA. Retrieved from, http://www.llsdc.org/assets/sourcebook/crs-rl34584.pdf

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