Wharton Pension Research Council Working Papers

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Working Paper

Date of this Version



Insurers are rapidly gaining access to consumers’ genetic information. In the US, federal law bars using genetic information in health insurance, but not in life, disability, or long-term care insurance. Accordingly, insurers may fear adverse selection: individuals could undergo testing, learn they have risky genes, and purchase insurance without revealing test results. While other countries have established moratoria on insurers’ use of genetic information, there is no consensus in the U.S. regarding how to avoid ‘unfair discrimination.’ The chapter discusses alternative solutions, including government bans of insurers’ use of genetic information, or limiting insurer information to only high-risk genes.


The published version of this working paper may be found in the 2019 publication: The Disruptive Impact of FinTech on Retirement Systems.


Insurance, risk-management, genetic testing, healthcare, Genetic Information NonDiscrimination Act

Working Paper Number


Copyright/Permission Statement

All findings, interpretations, and conclusions of this paper represent the views of the author(s) and not those of the Wharton School or the Pension Research Council. © 2018 Pension Research Council of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. All rights reserved.

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Economics Commons



Date Posted: 30 January 2019