On October 1, 2009, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Labor, and the Department of the Treasury jointly issued interim final regulations implementing Title I of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (“GINA”).
Under GINA and the new regulations, group health plans and issuers in the group insurance market cannot:
- Increase premiums for a group based on the results of one enrollee’s genetic information;
- Deny enrollment, impose pre-existing condition exclusions, or perform other forms of underwriting based on genetic information.
In addition, under GINA and the new regulations, group health plans and health insurance issuers (both in the group and individual markets) cannot request, require or buy genetic information for underwriting purposes, or prior to and in connection with enrollment. Further, plans and issuers may not ask individuals or family members to undergo a genetic test.
The interim final regulations apply to group health plans for plan years beginning on or after December 7, 2009 – for calendar year plans, therefore, the effective date is January 1, 2010.
Stay tuned for additional information on GINA and the new regulations in upcoming client alerts. In the meantime, to learn more about GINA and the new regulations, contact your SGR Executive Compensation and Employee Benefits counsel.