Can having genetic carrier screening affect health insurance cover?

Date: 12 May 2021

Fertility Associates has asked for Southern Cross Health Insurance whether genetic carrier screening might affect insurance cover.  This information is based on their reply and does not necessary apply to a particular person’s circumstances.  If you have any further questions, please ask your insurance provider directly.

If you already have insurance:
  • If you already have health insurance and then learn about a genetic condition, your cover is not affected.  
Applying for Insurance:
  • Most insurance companies ask people to disclose any findings relating to genetic disorders or conditions when they apply for a new health insurance policy. In general, the insurance company is interested in genetic conditions that could increase the chance of having cancer in the future, and even then, restrictions may be limited to complimentary or ‘add-on’ services.
  • Southern Cross has told us that cover would not be restricted if you have a genetic condition that is not related to cancer, but which could increase your chance of developing a medical condition later on.
  • Since carrier screening is looking for genes which do not affect you, but which may be inherited by your children, the carrier screening results should not affect you getting insurance cover.
What about insurance cover for your children?
  • Southern Cross tells us that the parent’s genetic profile is irrelevant to health insurance cover for their children.
  • The insurance company is interested in whether the child herself or himself has a medical condition. 
  • The insurance company may assess the family’s medical history, including genetic results, to decide whether a child has an increased risk of developing a medical condition in the future.