Your Medical Record, Insurance Rates, and DNA Testing

DNA testing has grown in popularity over the past few years as technology has grown more prevalent and lead to lower costs. As of April 2014, 700,000 Americans have undergone full or partial DNA sequencing to learn more about their genetic backgrounds and medical predispositions.

Yet many people are avoiding DNA testing altogether, including ethnicity and ancestry tests, for fear that their results may negatively impact their insurance costs.

How is DNA testing related to your insurance rates? Read more below.

DNA Testing & Insurance Rates

How is DNA Testing Linked to Insurance Costs?

What’s scaring many people away from conducting DNA testing? Turns out there’s a big drawback to the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), 2008 federal law which bans health insurance companies and employers from seeking genetic testing results.

GINA does prevent group health plans and health insurance companies from charging higher premiums or denying health insurance to someone base on their genetic predisposition toward developing a disease.  But it doesn’t apply to life, disability, or long-term care insurance, which are all critical to people with critical, inherited illnesses.

Vermont, Oregon, and California all have laws that block life, disability, and long-term care insurance providers from using genetic information, but people in other states, including Missouri and Kansas, could be vulnerable to this loophole in the law if their DNA test results appear in their medical record.

Dealing With GINA’s Limitations

In response to the GINA omission, some health care providers have resorted to maintaining separate files to store their patients’ DNA testing results. One study revealed that 4.5% of doctors resorted to separating genetic information from the standard medical record. But in some cases, the results of DNA testing must be included in the medical record to justify preventative procedures — such as surgeries to lower cancer risk.

Test Smartly Labs can provide affordable, reliable DNA testing — off the record. We don’t require insurance or a doctor’s orders, meaning you can pursue the DNA testing you want without fear of inclusion on your medical record.

Test Smartly Labs offers a variety of DNA tests that can help you learn about your genetic profile. Contact one of our labs today at (816) 800-9699. We have five locations in the greater Kansas City area!

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