eCite Digital Repository

Genetic testing and insurance in Australia


Otlowski, M and Tiller, J and Barlow-Stewart, K and Lacaze, P, Genetic testing and insurance in Australia, Australian Journal of General Practice, 48, (3) pp. 96-99. ISSN 2208-7958 (2019) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2019 The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners

Official URL:

DOI: doi:10.31128/AJGP-10-18-4722


Background Genetic testing offers great benefit for the diagnosis of genetic conditions and to identify and manage risk for conditions such as familial breast cancer. However, potential personal insurance implications exist for some patients who undergo genetic testing in Australia. Currently, insurance companies offering risk-rated products such as life insurance can use genetic test results to discriminate, which may adversely affect applicants’ ability to secure a policy. Many comparable countries have banned or restricted life insurers’ use of genetic results, while Australia still permits it. However, the industry proposes to introduce a moratorium limiting the use of genetic results for life insurance underwriting in mid-2019.

Objective This paper explores the implications of genetic testing for risk-rated insurance for the general practice workforce in Australia.

Discussion Advancements in technology and decreasing costs have resulted in rapid expansion in genetic/genomic testing, which is set to become part of mainstream healthcare. General practitioners (GPs) in Australia will have an increasingly significant part to play in the expanded use of this testing, and it is therefore important that GPs are aware of these issues.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:genetics, life insurance, genetic discrimination
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Genetics
Research Field:Genomics
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Otlowski, M (Professor Margaret Otlowski)
ID Code:131624
Year Published:2019
Web of Science® Times Cited:15
Deposited By:Law
Deposited On:2019-03-27
Last Modified:2021-03-15

Repository Staff Only: item control page