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What is genetic testing?
Genetic tests look for changes in a person’s DNA that may be associated with risk of developing a disease, or how a person responds to medicine. Results from genetic testing may be relevant to family members of the person being tested. You can read more about genetic testing at the National Human Genome Research Institute
Can results of genetic tests be used against me?
Genetic tests are intended to help people make decisions about their health and to help doctors and other health professionals to provide better treatment. However, many people worry that results of genetic tests will be used against them – for example, to deny health insurance or to discriminate in job hiring. You are protected under a a Federal law, called the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), which generally makes it illegal for health insurance companies, group health plans, and most employers to discriminate against you based on your genetic information. This law may protect you in the following ways:
– Health insurance companies and group health plans may NOT request your genetic information from this research.
– Health insurance companies and group health plans may NOT use your genetic information when making decisions regarding your eligibility or premiums.
– Employers with 15 or more employees may NOT use your genetic information that we get from this research when making a decision to hire, promote, or fire you or when setting the terms of your employment.
This Federal law does not protect you against genetic discrimination by companies that sell life insurance, disability insurance, or long-term care insurance. There may be other risks that are not known at this time. Tell the study investigator or study staff right away if you have any problems.
You can read more about the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act here.
What do I do if I have questions or want more information?
If you have questions about results you have received, we strongly recommend that you contact your doctor. Other sections of this website may have additional information that you could find useful. You can also Contact Us to find additional information. Finally, you can read more about genetics and genomics at the National Human Genome Research Institute.