Genetic testing commercials promise to give you insight into your past.
Where did your family come from?
Who were your great-great-great-grandparents?
Are you descended from ancient warriors?
Commercials don’t tell you how those tests results might impact you today. Or in the future.
Genetic Testing Reveals More Than Where You Came From
NPR Shots reports that the federal Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act protects consumers in the health insurance market. Genetic test information cannot be used to deny or determine health insurance coverage and its costs.
However, the act doesn’t provide consumer protection for long-term care insurance, life insurance, or disability insurance. Some states provide consumers additional protections for non-health insurance products. Connecticut does not.
Of course, if you do the genetic testing after you’ve purchased a life, long-term care, or disability insurance policy; your carrier cannot make changes based on that information. The policy you purchased is a form of contract. Your insurer is obligated to honor that contract.
In addition to your ability to purchase life, long-term care, and disability insurance, genetic testing presents other concerns. An opinion piece in the Washington Post notes the potential impact on consumer privacy by some testing companies or apps.
Most notably, authorities identified the Golden State Killer by sending DNA information to a website containing genetic samples. While this site contained voluntarily submitted samples, consumer privacy rules of some companies and third parties are not always clear. Also, their results and usage can be questionable.
Unless outlined in user agreements, companies are under no legal obligation to protect customer privacy. Additionally, those seldom-read user agreements may state that information will be shared with third parties. A company or organization you would never voluntarily agree to work with could use your genetic information.
As your local, independent insurance agency, the Keating Agency provides this information to help you make better-informed decisions. We want to help you get the right coverage at the right price for you. Questionable or incorrect information should not be allowed to be used against you.
Whether you have questions about the impact of genetic testing, or about various insurance products, we are happy to discuss those with you. You can contact us online, or work with us in person. We’re here for you.