Arizona Among 14 States with Protection Against Genetic Discrimination – But not for LTC Insurance
Few things in life are more unfair than genetics. We’re all
born with a unique code that can include good things – the family nose,
perhaps, and bad things like potential health conditions. Increasingly geneticists
are discovering genetic links to ailments and with the advent of services like
23 and me, there is an increase in interest in genetics in general.
Long-term care insurers base coverage decisions on things
like medical records and health habits.
But, according to a recent article on Bloomberg Law there is a chance
that LTC insurers can also judge potential applicants on genetics as well.
In 2008, Congress passed the Genetic Information
Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 and George Bush signed it. The bill was intentionally set up to not
apply to life and long-term care insurance according to one member of the National Society of Genetic
According to this source, lawmakers were unable to come to an
agreement that would be broader and include these types of insurance. There’s a powerful lobby in Washington of Life
Insurers and a fair-minded reader can probably connect the dots.
Arizona is one of 14 states that extends the “GINA” protections
beyond just health coverage (which is nationwide). There is surprisingly little on the Web about
the specifics of Arizona’s coverage but one law firm does mention that GINA in Arizona
is extended to employers.
A.R.S. § 41-1463(B)(3) states that it shall be unlawful for
an employer to “fail or refuse to hire, to discharge, or to otherwise
discriminate against any individual based on the results of a genetic test
received by the employer.”
So, long-term care applicants in Arizona and many other
states are on notice: genetics can potentially play a result in your LTC underwriting
decision. As agents, we’ve never seen
nor heard hint of this occurring, but pouring over the laws it seems possible. According to the Council for Responsible
Generics, Arizona also extends a prohibition of genetic discrimination to Disability
Insurance without actuarial justification.
If you’re navigating this space and looking to get comparison
quotes from the top ten companies in Arizona, feel free to request a quote
right here on our site. Our state-licensed
agents are able to discuss underwriting in much greater detail. We can help you determine how all of this
applies to your individual case, and what the best path forward may be.