Employment-Government Issues Final Rules On GINA

According to a press release issued by the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”), dated October 1, 2009, HHS and the Departments of Labor and the Treasury have jointly issued interim final rules, which implement Title I of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (“GINA”). The press release states that these rules will help ensure that genetic information is not used adversely in determining health care coverage and will encourage more individuals to participate in genetic testing, which can help better identify and prevent certain illnesses. Under GINA and these rules, group health plans and issuers in the group market cannot:

–increase premiums for the group based on the results of one enrollee’s genetic information; or

— deny enrollment, impose pre-existing condition exclusions, or do other forms of underwriting based on genetic information.

Further, under GINA and these rules, group health plans and health insurance issuers in both the group and individual markets cannot request, require or buy genetic information for underwriting purposes, or prior to and in connection with enrollment, and are generally prohibited from asking individuals or family members to undergo a genetic test.