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Genetic Privacy and the ACA

NPR reports that with recent challenges to the US Affordable Care Act, some of its readers are concerned about the effects on genetic privacy.

One reader wrote in to ask whether insurance companies could decide to not cover or charge more to cover someone with an increased genetic risk of a condition. NPR writes that a different law, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, bars insurers from doing so based upon information such as family history or genetic testing results.

But then people lose that GINA-based protection once they begin to exhibit diseases symptoms, NPR says, adding that that's where ACA protections begin. The ACA prohibits insurers from not covering someone or charging someone more if they have a pre-existing condition.

However the Trump Administration has said it won't defend that part of the law, which is being challenged in a number of lawsuits, NPR adds. In a separate article, it notes that a poll last June showed that 71 percent of US adults want Congress to keep these protections for pre-existing conditions.