• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 35s

Should companies be allowed to demand your genetic test results?

By CBS News 1:50 PM March 20, 2017

Your genetic profile can reveal whether you have a disease or a predisposition to problems like cancer. So there is concern over a bill that would let companies request genetic testing, and effectively charge employees more for health insurance if they refuse.

The bill aims to clarify rules for workplace wellness programs. Employers would be able to offer discounts of up to 30 percent to those who participate. For the average family of four, that could be a difference of more than $1,500 a year.

But critics of this new bill say there’s no telling how companies could use that information in the future. To them, it’s a choice between losing privacy or losing what could be thousands of dollars in savings.

Joselin Linder told correspondent Tony Dokoupil that, most of the time, she doesn’t mind discussing the genetic illness that runs through her family attacking a vein in the liver.

“So my grandmother passed it to two sons and watched two sons die of this gene,” she said.

But she wouldn’t want a boss to know the details of her family tree.

Dokoupila sked, “How do you think you would feel if an employer said, ‘We want to see your genetic test or we’re going to charge you 30% more for health insurance?”

“I think it would feel like a penalty,” she replied.

What Linder calls a penalty, North Carolina Congresswoman Virginia Foxx sees as motivation. She introduced a bill that would allow companies to offer insurance premium discounts to workers who undergo genetic testing as part of a workplace wellness program.

“If they don’t participate in the wellness program, their premium is going to be the same as everyone else,” Foxx said.

“With the exception of the people who participate in the program,” said Dokoupil.

Continue reading on CBSNews.com

Latest Stories

  • News

    Training the next generation of TAPS workers

    by Emily Carlson on Jun 23, 10:57

    Alaska kids can’t escape childhood without a tale or two about the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. Eirik Henry heard the stories. He knew he was going to be a welder before he could walk. “I think it’s a lot of fun to put something together that someone else can’t.” Henry says he may not have understood the […]

  • News

    Flint airport stabbing suspect tried to buy gun in U.S., FBI says

    by CBS News on Jun 23, 10:41

    DETROIT — The man suspected of stabbing an officer at a Michigan airport Wednesday unsuccessfully tried to buy a gun in the U.S. before the attack, but he did buy a knife here, the FBI said on Thursday. David Gelios, head of the FBI in Detroit, made the disclosure at a news conference. He did […]

  • Light shines bright on annual Midnight Sun Baseball Game

    by Dave Leval on Jun 23, 6:44

    Eager fans celebrate as they enter Growden Park in Fairbanks. Others wait to enter the historic stadium on an atypical game night. It’s the Midnight Sun Game, the 112th edition. That draws plenty of first-time fans to the ballpark, including, South Dakota’s Jason Roberts. “I heard it’s the place to be! Why not take in a […]

  • News

    Alaskan senators react to health care bill

    by Lauren Maxwell on Jun 23, 6:28

    Alaska’s senators have yet to take a stand on the health care bill saying they need more time to read through it. Senator Lisa Murkowski released a statement saying, “I remain committed to ensuring that all Alaskans have access to affordable, quality health care and will vet this bill through that lens.” One thing Murkowski […]

  • Two of three Mat-Su Senators now in the minority

    by Liz Raines on Jun 22, 21:11

    In an unexpected move Thursday evening, Rep. Shelley Hughes (R-Palmer) voted against a compromise budget bill put forward by the operating budget conference committee. Voting for the budget is a requirement for remaining in the Republican-led Majority caucus. Hughes now becomes the second Matsu Senator this year to leave the Majority. In April, Sen. Mike […]

  • Lifestyle

    3 key things to know about the Senate health care bill

    by CBS News on Jun 22, 18:36

    The Senate’s health insurance bill is finally available for scrutiny. While Washington watchers analyze its chances for passage, let’s take a look at the consequences for consumers. Here’s what you should keep an eye on as the bill moves forward toward inevitable tweaks and an expected vote next week. Subsidies. The Senate bill has edged […]

  • News

    UA system takes $8M cut in proposed agreement

    by Bonney Bowman on Jun 22, 17:46

    The University of Alaska Board of Regents is moving forward after the legislature announced a funding agreement for the university system. The House and Senate agreed to a $317 million budget for the university and the regents voted to approve it. It’s a cut of $8 million, less than the regents asked for, but also […]

  • News

    Investigators probing if Trump campaign got info from Russian hacks

    by CBS News on Jun 22, 17:04

    CBS News has confirmed that congressional investigators are interested in whether Trump campaign associates obtained information from hacked voter databases. A source indicated it is still early on in the process of scrutinizing the issue, but the House Intelligence Committee is said to be scrutinizing relevant documents to see if there is a connection. TIME […]