Saturday, October 24, 2009

Groups: Genetic Data Rule Flawed

I find this article and statement somewhat tragically ironic. It shows that although the updates to GINA, a genetic privacy rule, are being seen as going too far. This group would like genetic information to be used to receive discounts, event hough they likely still would be against genetic information being used for increased fees. This is likely a case of a policy going too far. One solution would simply allow a patient to authorize any use of their genetic information including for the purpose of getting a discount.

"As noted, GINA's intent was to prohibit group health plans and insurers from collecting genetic information 1) prior to or in connection with enrollment; and 2) for underwriting purposes," according to the letter. "The final interim regulations broadly define 'underwriting purposes' to mean rules for determining eligibility (including enrollment and continued eligibility), computation of premium or contribution amounts, and application of pre-existing condition exclusions. This definition includes changing deductibles or other cost sharing mechanisms, or providing discounts, rebates, payments in kind, or other premium differential mechanisms in return for activities such as completing a health risk assessment (HRA) or participating in wellness programs. The new regulations clarify that offering reduced premiums or other reward for providing genetic information is an impermissible 'underwriting' activity. More