Employment-DOL Provides Fact Sheet On GINA

The Department of Labor (the “DOL”) has issued a Fact Sheet on the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (“GINA”). According to the Fact Sheet, GINA prohibits discrimination in group health plan coverage based on genetic information. It is effective for plan years beginning after May 21, 2009 (January 1, 2010 for calendar year plans). Regulations implementing the provisions of GINA were made public on October 1, 2009.

The Fact Sheet indicates that GINA:

–expands the genetic information protections included in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”);

–provides that group health plans and health insurance issuers cannot base premiums for an employer or a group of similarly situated individuals on genetic information;

–prohibits plans and issuers from requesting or requiring an individual to undergo a genetic test; and
–generally prohibits a plan from collecting genetic information (including family medical history) prior to or in connection with enrollment, or for underwriting purposes.