Genetic Discrimination

Genetic Discrimination

Genetic discrimination occurs when someone uses personal information about your genetic risks against you. This can include genetic testing information for an inherited disorder or for genetic disease risks. It can even include information about disorders or health conditions that run in your family (family history).

Two concerning types of discrimination involve health insurance and employment. Some individuals may choose not to have a genetic test because of concern that their health insurance premiums could increase or that they could lose their health insurance coverage just because they are at risk for a disease. Other individuals may worry that they could lose their jobs or be transferred if the management finds out about their genetic risk(s).

In May 2008, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) was signed into law. GINA provides protection against genetic discrimination by employers and health insurance companies.

  • Employers and health insurance companies cannot request or require genetic information including genetic tests or family history.
  • Employers cannot make any hiring or promotion decisions based on genetic information.
  • Health insurance companies cannot make any pricing or coverage decisions based on genetic information.
  • Genetic information cannot be considered a pre-existing condition.

It is important to remember that protections under GINA apply only to genetic risk information and not to a disease that is already present. For example, learning you are at risk to develop a health condition based on a genetic test or family history would be protected and could not be used against you. However, if you already have symptoms which could lead to diagnosis of the health condition, it is considered "manifest," or active disease, and GINA does not apply. Talk with your doctor or genetic counselor to learn more about how GINA applies to your individual situation.

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TruGenome Clinical Sequencing Services is performed in the Illumina CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvements Amendment)-certified and CAP (College of American Pathologists)-accredited Clinical Services Laboratory. The TruGenome Sequence information is generated by licensed personnel using an analytically validated process. Consistent with Laboratory Developed Tests, it has not been cleared or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

This genome sequence information can be analyzed to potentially aid physicians in the evaluation of a broad range of health conditions or physiological traits. Patients will not receive medical results, or a diagnosis, or a recommendation for treatment from Illumina. Any results arising from the analysis of genome sequence information that might be deemed medically actionable should be confirmed using alternative testing. If any questions or concerns arise about what is learned through the genome sequence information, patients should contact their physician or a genetic counselor. Currently Illumina does not accept orders for TruGenome Clinical Sequencing Services from New York.