Last week, the House Republicans finally released a counter bill to ObamaCare. Their program is called the American Health Care Act, and it intends to replace the Affordable Care Act altogether. While the storm regarding this event continues to take over the spotlight, a new bill is slowly advancing in the background. It has reached the House committee, and its proposal talks about obligatory and transparent genetic tests for employees.
About the Preserving Employee Wellness Program Act
For the moment, companies have no right to force their employees into undergoing genetic tests. Moreover, they are not entitled to the results of such tests to the benefit of assessments of health risks. On the other hand, the new proposal can change the right people have to the privacy of their own health. The Americans with Disabilities and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act are the only two wellness programs that preserve limitations on what employers can do.
This new bill can lift these barriers off and allow companies to use patient health data to perform cost-effective strategies. For instance, if they have the necessary information, they can deny coverage for insurances. The benefits can be greater for companies with workplace wellness programs. Through this act, they can oblige employees to take and divulge genetic tests.
How Results of Genetic Tests Can Affect Employees
First of all, once in the possession of such data, companies can promote their insurance premiums sponsored by employers increase. Moreover, the employees themselves are liable of a direct impact. If employers find out that they can no longer offer the professional potential in the future, people can lose their jobs. This situation can occur if their genetic tests reveal a future illness. In this scenario, companies can get a lot of expenses if people with bad results continue to work for them.
On the other hand, it is good for people to keep track of their health status and proceed to preventive solutions for illnesses that are at early stages. However, today’s technology puts its focus on so many aspects, that almost all people will appear to be at risk. Tests nowadays measure data in genetics, location, socioeconomics, employment, and activity levels. With so many fields to pay attention to, most persons would develop risks for a company in one way or the other.
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