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Genetic testing and insurance in Australia

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 02:16 authored by Margaret OtlowskiMargaret Otlowski, Tiller, J, Barlow-Stewart, K, Lacaze, P

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.


Publication title

Australian Journal of General Practice








Faculty of Law


Royal Australian College of General Practitioners

Place of publication


Rights statement

Copyright 2019 The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Clinical health not elsewhere classified; Other health not elsewhere classified; Justice and the law not elsewhere classified

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