Most people go through a time in their lives when they become curious about their family history. Genealogy has always been an interesting field, and the advent of at-home DNA tests have caused the discipline to surge in popularity like never before. Unfortunately, while learning the your family history is interesting, it can also be detrimental to your insurance premiums down the line.
According to the Kaiser Health Network, the federal Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act stops insurers from using information learned from at-home genetic kits before deciding the cost of a health insurance policy. However, that act does not apply to long-term insurance policies. That means that insurers are able to use that information when they’re deciding what type of premium to offer.
If you’re in the market for disability insurance, a long-term care policy or life insurance than this could have a serious impact on your life. Insurers are within their rights to ask you about you and your families medical history. If you learned information about that through a genetics test, you are obligated to report that to your insurer. That, in turn, can lead to substantially higher insurance rates.
For example, imagine you took a 23andMe test, and learned that your family has a known history of heart attacks. When your insurer asks about your family history, you have to disclose that. Having a history of heart attacks always leads to a higher life insurance premium than those who don’t have that history. If you didn’t take a genetics test, and never knew, than you obviously could not be held liable for not reporting it.
Taking a home genetics test can lead to exciting insight into your family history, which, for many, is incredibly valuable. However, it’s important to understand the entire picture, and to realize the repercussions taking a genetic test can have. In this case, it can be directly tied to higher insurance rates. Is that worth the knowledge? That’s a question only you can answer.