Australians can now be tested for the most common genetic condition in the nation with more clarity around the impact on their future insurance policies. . The Financial Services Council has released a consumer fact sheet on genetic testing for haemochromatosis to provide guidance and clarity for consumers and medical professionals about the impact of genetic testing for the disease on life insurance applications. View the fact sheet here.

The statement confirms that if a person is found to be at genetic risk of haemochromatosis and does not have excess iron levels or has excess iron levels and has this effectively treated, new insurance policies will not be impacted. It is only if people have evidence of damage to organs such as the liver or heart that new policies will be impacted. If a person is found to be at genetic risk of haemochromatosis, this will not affect any existing insurance policies.

Professor Martin Delatycki from the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute said: “People at risk can be identified by a simple genetic test and if the condition is identified early there are no long term adverse health outcomes. In the past people may have not taken a genetic test in fear that it would affect their insurance.”

President of Haemochromatosis Australia, Ben Marris, said “This is a fantastic outcome. It means that more Australian’s will now be diagnosed as being at risk of haemochromatosis and can take steps to prevent ever becoming sick. We congratulate the Financial Services Council for publishing this statement which will benefit everyone concerned,” he said. “Early diagnosis is critical as symptoms are entirely preventable by maintaining body iron in the normal range through blood donation.”