DoL Requests Info on Genetic Nondiscrimination

October 13, 2008 ( - The U.S. Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has published a "request for information" (RFI) to assist the department in implementing the requirements under the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) for group health plans and health insurance issuers.

The RFI is here .

Title I of GINA amended the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) by adding new requirements prohibiting group health plans and group health insurance issuers from discriminating in health coverage based on genetic information (See Genetic Info Nondiscrimination Bill Signed into Law ).

Specifically, GINA prohibits group health plans and group health insurance issuers from:

  • using genetic information to adjust premium or contribution amounts for the group covered under the plan;
  • requesting or requiring an individual or family member of an individual to undergo a genetic test; and
  • requesting, requiring or purchasing genetic information for underwriting purposes or prior to an individual’s enrollment under the plan.

The department is seeking public comments in specific areas while also seeking comments and suggestions on any additional areas or issues pertinent to future guidance.

Written comments on the RFI should be addressed to the Office of Health Plan Standards and Compliance Assistance, Employee Benefits Security Administration, Room N-5653, U. S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20210, Attn: GINA Comments.

The public also may submit comments electronically by email to or through the federal e-rulemaking portal at .