Genetic testing could be the next hottest workplace voluntary benefit, according to the favorable responses in the Wamberg Genomic Consumer Survey, which shows that many people are keen about their employer providing the benefit for health purposes.

La Jolla, Calif.-based Wamberg Genomic Advisors commissioned Survey Sampling International to query 536 U.S. consumers between the ages of 26 and 64 with employer-sponsored health insurance. The survey found that a majority (65 percent) of respondents would be interested if their employer offered easy and affordable access to genetic testing for health purposes — provided the results were private and only shared between the employee and their doctor.

Moreover, many people are willing to help pay for such testing if it were a workplace benefit. The survey asked respondents, "What is the most you would pay for genetic testing if your employer contributed $1,000 per year to a tax-free account for your medical expenses?" A third (33 percent) say they would pay $100; 19 percent would pay $250; 8 percent would pay $500; and 4 percent would even pay $1,000 or more.

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Katie Kuehner-Hebert

Katie Kuehner-Hebert is a freelance writer based in Running Springs, Calif. She has more than three decades of journalism experience, with particular expertise in employee benefits and other human resource topics.