One of the many advancements in medicine has been the use of genetic testing in determining the probability that an individual will develop a life- threatening illness or condition. Knowing that you or your children are not at risk of a major illness can be of great comfort while knowledge to the contrary can be of great value in preventative treatment and planning. There was a growing concern, however, that individuals would be very reluctant to undergo genetic testing if knowing the results could affect their ability to properly insure themselves or impact their opportunities for employment. As a result, a private member’s bill, Bill S-201, was introduced in the senate resulting in the Genetic Non-Discrimination Act being recently enacted into law.
What does the Act do?
It is now illegal for employers, insurance companies, or any other entity or individual to require anyone to undergo genetic testing or to disclose the results of a genetic test before entering into a contract which provides goods or services. Now, if you apply for life, disability or critical illness insurance living benefit coverage, you cannot be denied coverage due to the results of a genetic test. Insurance companies and their agents are also prohibited from “collecting, using or disclosing” the results of a genetic test without an individual’s written consent. Penalties for not complying with the new law are severe. Read more
By Helen Burnett-Nichols
Expecting your first baby? By all means get the nursery ready — but make sure you put your financial house in order, too.
Preparing for a baby is a time full of celebration, showers and shopping, but the arrival of a little one brings not only added expense for your family but also a noticeable drop in income for many new families. Read more
By Melissa Cassar, VISA Canada
If you’ve got teenagers heading off to University or College in the Fall, I hope you’ve done a good job educating them about the importance of personal financial responsibility and how to build a strong credit history. If not, better do it now.
First year students and young adults entering the workforce encounter many unfamiliar expenses – and temptations – so it’s important to help them avoid early financial missteps that could damage their credit for years to come.
Probably the most fundamental tool for helping students manage their finances is a chequing account with a debit card. A few tips: Read more