Insurance industry to set guideline on 'genetic discrimination'

Japan's insurance industry will establish a business guideline banning life and medical insurers from collecting or using personal genetic information for decisions regarding eligibility for coverage and premiums to prevent "genetic discrimination," sources familiar with the matter said Saturday.
The Life Insurance Association of Japan has said its member firms do not use genetic information to make decisions about coverage, but people with genetic diseases and private groups supporting them have voiced concerns about discrimination in the absence of a law prohibiting insurers from gaining such data.
The industry group will state in its guideline that its member firms will continue their practice of providing insurance policies without collecting or relying on genetic information, according to the sources.
It will urge insurers not to use data from genetic testing even if people looking to purchase policies voluntarily offer their genetic data, they said.
In a Japanese government survey in 2017 on use of genetic information involving some 11,000 people, about 300 of them said they have experienced discriminatory treatment by insurance companies.

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