GINA – The Law

On May 21, President  Bush signed the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) of 2008 into law.  Senator Ted Kennedy hailed GINA as the “first civil rights bill of the new century.”  CRG President Jeremy Gruber was a leader of the 12-year effort and founded the Coalition for Genetic Fairness, a 500 organization strong community, for this purpose.

GINA provides strong new protections against access to genetic information and genetic discrimination in both the health insurance and employment settings. The health insurance provisions of the law, Title I, took effect on May 21, 2009. The protections in employment, Title II, took effect 18 months after the date of signing, on November 21, 2009. These protections apply to residents of all 50 US States and territories.

GINA does not address all possible forms of genetic discrimination.  For example, it does not address life insurance, disability insurance, or long-term care insurance.  GINA does not protect symptomatic individuals as well.

GINA is a strong and essential first step in the fight against genetic discrimination and misuse of medical information more generally.

A copy of the full text of the law is available at the link below.

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008