Would You Share Your Genetic Test Results For a Cheaper Healthcare Policy?
I think it’s fair to say that the thought of sharing our genetic test results with a life or health insurer in return for a cheaper policy has crossed most of our minds.
In a survey carried out at the end of last year, most people were fairly open to being tested for genetic conditions, especially if it had the potential to help them manage their health better, reports Verdict.
Others however, were wary about being burdened with knowledge about diseases which they believed they could do nothing about. It is also worth noting that life and health insurers already have access to significant data on consumers’ medical history, as well as their lifestyle and activity patterns generated by wearable technology and fitness trackers.
Writing for Life Insurance International, Ross Campbell, life and health chief underwriter, research and development at Gen Re, reinforced how the field of genomics is at the forefront of a technological revolution in bio-medicine and healthcare. As it stands, Campbell explained how the UK insurance industry has voluntarily agreed not to use much of the data that is available.
When introduced the moratorium acknowledged contemporary concerns that DNA sequencing would allow abnormal patterns in specific genes to be recognised and potentially misused by insurers, he continued.
“Our collective understanding of genomics and its potential relevance to risk assessments has also improved significantly in recent years, and it offers the opportunity for insurers to do things better – with individuals’ consent,” said Campbell.
Although highly unlikely that life insurers will start using genetic data to set the level of cover anytime soon, rapid strides being made by the industry to digitalise and embrace data analytics means it’s not a question of if, but instead when, life and health insurers lobby the government and public to use genetic testing.
The next frontier for insurance will definitely involve decoding people’s DNA.