My mother died of Huntington’s disease. I’m considering getting the test to see if I am at risk for it too. But I’m afraid that the results will get into the wrong hands. Would my health plan drop me? Or charge me a lot more?
Weighing the Options
Dear Weighing the Options,
No, insurers are not allowed to discriminate against people who have had genetic testing. The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 specifically prohibits health insurers from using genetic test results to charge people different rates or to refuse to cover them. The law protects people from discrimination by health insurers and employers on the basis of DNA information. Check out the GINA Fact Sheet for details.
This worry, you can take off of your list. You may have other concerns about finding out whether you have the gene for Huntington’s – such as how you yourself will feel about knowing, and who you would want to tell.