DNA Ancestry Test – Insurance Warning


Genetic test kits are all the rage now Promised insights into your ancestry and more

As science advances, so does their accuracy But tonight, Julie Watts has a warning How an ancestry test could keep you from getting life insurance JONES: I called my mother I called my father

I said, listen, we're Irish! WATTS: A few years ago, Amy Jones sent away her DNA And like many, she got back some unexpected ancestry results JONES: That was a total shock WATTS: But even more surprising than discovering she was Irish was learning what else that vial of spit might reveal JONES: Just where am I from? That's all the information I'm seeking

WATTS: But buyer beware When you turn over your DNA, the results reveal more than ethnicity The FTC recently issued this DNA test kit privacy warning Noting that tiny sample you send away can disclose the biological building blocks of what makes you YOU COURT: Most people don't think that if they get a genetic test, it could come back to bite them

But it can WATTS: Jamie Court of Consumer Watchdog notes the real risk is if your raw DNA data contains a marker for a serious illness COURT: If you apply for life insurance, they do have a right to get all your medical records and if you've had a genetic test taken, they do have a right to request it WATTS: While health insurers may not use genetic test results, life insurers can JONES: Consumers need to think about that before they go and have genetic testing done

WATTS: Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones explains Life insurers can legally ask if you've ever taken a DNA test, ask you for the results JONES: And then can use it to decide whether they're going to write life insurance, how much it's going to cost, and other provisions of the life insurance WATTS: Can you refuse to hand over the information? JONES: They can still then decide not to write the life insurance WATTS: And if you've ever taken an ancestry test, the DNA data file they create for ethnicity also contains the key to decode genetic health risks COURT: Immediate access to new health reports

WATTS: For instance, on 23andme, the only site that offers both ancestry and health information, after you've ordered your ancestry report they offer instant upgrades to get your genetic health data too COURT: They could really run those reports on your DNA Because how would you get immediate access? WATTS: And even on ancestry, only sites like Ancestry DNA, they may only use the DNA data file they create to determine your ethnicity But once it's created, an insurer can ask you to download and hand over the raw data, which the insurer could use to reveal genetic health risks ranging from cancer to obesity to alcoholism COURT: It could mean you don't get insurance

WATTS: Now federal law does protect against some genetic discrimination Right now health insurers and your employer can't hold your genes against you But the law doesn't cover life insurance, disability or long-term care insurance And Court warns the laws are ever changing COURT: You should only submit to a DNA test if they agree to destroy the sample

WATTS: Now both 23andme and Ancestry DNA say they will destroy your information upon request However, there may be exceptions if you've chosen to share your data with medical researchers And Consumer Watchdog says about 80% of the people who take these tests do opt to share their information In the newsroom, Julie Watts, KPIX 5 BASTIDA: I just won't tell 'em Now Julie warns, think twice about that

Lying to an insurer, denying that you've taken the test, not providing it If you get caught in a lie they can actually cancel your policy or refuse to pay it out

Source: Youtube


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