Health News

Laws needed to prevent gene-based life insurance discrimination, says report


  • Key stakeholders (health professionals, consumers and researchers) are concerned about the life insurance industry’s self-regulation and absence of Australian Government oversight of the FSC Moratorium, and express a low level of confidence in its effectiveness
  • There are instances of non-compliance, including where insurance companies have asked insurance applicants about genetic testing, contrary to FSC Moratorium terms
  • There is a lack of effective mechanisms to enforce the moratorium or seek redress
  • Stakeholders are concerned about the uncertainty inherent in the moratorium’s industry-led nature, and the potential for to life insurers to use genetic test results in the future
  • Many genomic researchers reported that the potential use of genomic test results by insurers was a barrier to the recruitment of research participants
  • Amend the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) to prohibit insurers from using genetic or genomic test results to discriminate between applicants for risk-rated insurance, and consider amendments to the regulation of financial services to ensure insurers are subject to a positive duty to not discriminate.
  • Allocate responsibility and appropriate resources to the Australian Human Rights Commission to enforce, promote, educate and support individuals and all relevant stakeholders to understand and meet the Act’s new legal obligations.

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