General Question

squirbel's avatar

Why doesn't the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act [GINA] apply to members of the military?

Asked by squirbel (4292points) May 10th, 2009

Genetic discrimination refers to the possibility of an insurance company gaining access to your medical records or results of genetic testing and using this information to determine coverage or set premiums. To my knowledge, there has never actually been a case of genetic discrimination that has gone to trial, yet people continue to cite the possibility as a major reason they chose not to pursue genetic testing.

To help limit these concerns, the U.S. government signed the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA) into law in May 2008. This law:

* Prohibits both group and individual health insurers from using a person’s genetic information in determining eligibility or premiums
* Prohibits an insurer from requesting or requiring that a person undergo a genetic test
* Prohibits employers from using a person’s genetic information in making employment decisions
* Prohibits employers from requesting, requiring or purchasing genetic information about a person or their family members.

Unfortunately, GINA has some limitations. They include:

* It doesn’t prohibit medical underwriting based upon an individual’s current health status.
* It doesn’t cover life, disability or long-term care insurance.
* It doesn’t apply to members of the military.

Source: Mayo Clinic

I am not asking this question merely to start a discussion, I genuinely want to know why. I feel this is unfair. This affects me.

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4 Answers

Fyrius's avatar

I as a not particularly informed layman can speculate two reasons:
1. Soldiers really need to be in good health – their job is dangerous enough to justify high health standards.
2. The military is a governmental institution, so they can do whatever they want.

nikipedia's avatar

It sounds to me like GINA was in conflict with some pre-existing military policies, so rather than change all of those, they made the military an exception. Here’s a pretty good article on the subject. (I can email you a pdf if the link doesn’t work.)

Also I noticed you switched from “fiance” to “husband”! When did this happen!?

squirbel's avatar


April 30th :P

Thanks for the link :)

after reading the link, I have to say thank you, many times over!

nikipedia's avatar

Congratulations! And glad I could help :)

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