Dialectic Studies on the Appropriateness of Utilizing Genetic Information as the Base of Insurance Underwriting and the Determination of Premium ⎯The U.S. Experience and Analysis

Dialectic Studies on the Appropriateness of Utilizing Genetic Information as the Base of Insurance Underwriting and the Determination of Premium ⎯The U.S. Experience and Analysis

 

Title
Dialectic Studies on the Appropriateness of Utilizing Genetic Information as the Base of Insurance Underwriting and the Determination of Premium ⎯The U.S. Experience and Analysis
Author
Kuan-Chun Chang
Keywords
genetic information, genetic discrimination, underwriting, duty to disclosure, risk classification
Abstract
On May 21, 2008, president George W. Bush signed the Genetic Information
Nondiscrimination Act, which officially prohibits health insurers from obtaining
and using genetic information as bases for calculating premiums or determine enrollment
eligibility. Two major rationales behind this promulgation include first,
responding to public’s fear of a dystopia in which people’s own DNA could be manipulated
against them; and second, increased number of people are expected to
take advantage of genetic testing and participate in genetic researches. In fact, starting
from the mid-1990’s, the issue regarding the appropriateness of the utilization
of genetic information in the underwriting of life and health insurance has always
been highly controversial, and the debate has never ceased. Many states address to
this issue by enacting their own statutory law but the content and restriction laid in
these state laws are diversified. This article, therefore, attempts to analysis such
issue from the perspective of the nature of insurance transaction, insurance practice
and general principles of insurance laws. Part II of this paper will discuss the nature of genetic information and insurance transaction. Part III will probe into the
disputes from theoretical aspect. Then, part IV will examine the existing Federal
and state statutory laws as well as case laws addressing this issue. Part V aims to
seek for a potential solution through general principles of insurance law and theories
of insurance transaction. The entire discussion will conclude in part VI.
Abstract Article

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