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Life Health > Health Insurance > Life Insurance Strategies

Labor Seeks Group Plan Genetic Information Data

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The U.S. Department of Labor wants group health plans and health insurers to provide information about issues dealing with beneficiaries’ genetic information.

Labor will use the data to draft a rule implementing a law that bars providers from discriminating in providing or charging for health coverage based on genetic information, officials say in a notice published today in the Federal Register.

Group health plans and health insurers that want to participate must provide the agency with the data by Dec. 9.

The Employee Benefits Security Administration, the Labor Department agency seeking the information, is asking group health plans and health insurers to tell it how much they use family medical histories and other genetic information and for what purposes.

The request for information asks, for example, about whether genetic information now is used for group rating purposes, or for purposes of a wellness program that otherwise complies with federal nondiscrimination requirements.

EBSA also is asking whether health plans and health insurers are getting beneficiary genetic information through health risk assessments, the Medical Information Bureau, or other means.

The data will be used to draft a regulation that will implement the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, which passed earlier this year, officials say.

GINA prohibits group health plans and group health insurers from discriminating in health coverage based on genetic information.


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