June 5, 2019

Could the Results of a Genetic Test Affect My Health Insurance Coverage?

The short answer from a genetic counselor

Test tubes and genetic results in background

Q: If I take a genetic test and learn I’m at high risk for a disease, could I lose my health insurance or have my premium raised?


Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

A: This is a question that a lot of patients have. The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, or GINA, was passed a little over 10 years ago to address this question specifically. It’s a federal law that prevents medical insurers from raising your rates or dropping your coverage based on genetic test results. It also prevents people from employment discrimination based on genetic testing.

The law, however, does not prevent people from discrimination related to life insurance or long-term care or disability insurance. Different states have other laws related to that, but that’s not covered by this specifically.

The other thing is that it’s really just related to genetic test results, especially predictive tests where you don’t have symptoms but you’re trying to figure out your risks. If you’ve already been diagnosed with a condition, then GINA doesn’t cover you anymore. In that case you would fall into some of the other laws related to preexisting conditions.


— Genetic counselor Allison Schreiber

Related Articles

Scientist using microscope.
February 17, 2023
Why Genetic Testing for C3G May Be an Important Choice

It can help determine a best treatment path

An illustration of computer screen with a doctor wearing a breast cancer ribbon
November 16, 2021
Breast Cancer Genes Explained: How & When To Get Tested

Learn about BRCA and other genes that raise the risk of breast cancer

preforming genetic testing in the lab
December 16, 2020
A Genetic Test You Don’t Need

Testing MTHFR is usually unnecessary

woman in genetic counseling
December 1, 2020
What Genetic Counselors Can Do for You

Learn how they can help your health

Female swimmer in the water at edge of a pool
December 1, 2023
Can Exercise Reduce Your Risk of Breast Cancer?

Physical activity and weight management can minimize your chances of getting the disease

Two people standing in the cold.
November 29, 2023
10 Colds Not To Catch This Winter

The flu, RSV, COVID-19, pneumonia and more typically circulate during cold weather months

Parent breastfeeding baby on bed, against the headboard.
November 27, 2023
Looking for Foods To Increase Your Milk Supply? Think Big Picture

No single food will increase your milk, but an overall healthy diet will help

Trending Topics

group of hands holding different beverages
November 14, 2023
10 Myths About Drinking Alcohol You Should Stop Repeating

Coffee won’t cure a hangover and you definitely shouldn’t mix your cocktail with an energy drink

Person applies moisturizer as part of their skin care routine after a shower.
November 10, 2023
Korean Skin Care Routines: What You Need To Know

Focus on the philosophy — replenishing and respecting your skin — not necessarily the steps

glass of cherry juice with cherries on table
November 8, 2023
Sleepy Girl Mocktail: What’s in It and Does It Really Make You Sleep Better?

This social media sleep hack with tart cherry juice and magnesium could be worth a try