NU Online News Service, Oct. 14, 2003, 5:55 p.m. EDT — Washington
Health insurers are criticizing a bill approved today by the Senate that bans the use of genetic information in health insurance underwriting.
“Although this legislation is well-intended, and the sponsors have made every effort to carefully define key terms in the bill, health insurers continue to believe it will only add unnecessary and costly regulatory burdens without, in any way, improving consumer protection,” says Dr. Donald Young, president of the Health Insurance Association of America, Washington.
Young says current federal laws, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, already prohibit employer-sponsored plans from using genetic information to refuse coverage or charge higher premiums.
The same law also protects purchasers of individual coverage, Young says.
Moreover, Young says, health insurers do not currently use genetic information in determining coverage or setting premiums.