Emory Law Journal


Joyce J. Shin


Recent neuroscience advances have made it possible to predict illnesses, such as Alzheimer¿s disease, before the onset of any symptoms. This capability is similar to the use of genetic information to predict illness, which began to emerge roughly twenty-five years ago. While predictive information is incredibly useful, the benefits come with a heavy cost. Predictive information can easily be used as a basis for unfair discrimination by health insurance companies, a problem exacerbated by the fact that predictive information is far from perfect. Congress acknowledged and addressed this concern when it preemptively passed the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act to prohibit unfair health insurance discrimination on the basis of genetic information. Congress further reinforced and expanded the protections afforded to predictive genetic information with the passage of the Affordable Care Act. This Comment argues that there is a gap in protection for predictive neuroscience information in the large-group and self-insured health insurance markets. In order to close the gap, this Comment proposes the addition of a health-status-related factor in the Affordable Care Act for predictive neuroscience information.