This year’s LOMA Health Underwriting Study Group Meeting (HUSG) was held in San Antonio, Texas, on the lovely Riverwalk.
More than 100 members attended this 2 ½ day event, representing 40 Individual and Small Group carriers. About half of the meeting was spent in roundtable discussion of underwriting and other risk management issues and half the meeting was devoted to presentations.
This year’s presentations were particularly valuable to attendees:
The meeting began with a panel discussion of federal Health Care reform. Panelists included Jon Shreve of Milliman USA, Adam Brackemyre of NAHU, and John Williams, JD of the Senate Finance Committee. These gentlemen each provided a unique perspective of the reform effort and shared their insights as to the future impacts of reform on health insurers.
Shirley Glazier of BCBS of Michigan spoke about Blue Cross Blue Shield of MI individual plan’s experience in a Guaranteed Issue environment and the challenges they face in providing Michigan residents the coverage to which they are entitled.
Sue Nelson identified a number of “alternative career paths” that individual and small group underwriters might pursue for preparation beyond 2014.
Doug Merz of Medical Information Bureau presented the results of a recent study of the impact MIB inquiry would have had 12,000 standard issues.
Dr. Paul Triggs of Risk-Consulting in Cologne, Germany presented a European model for risk assessment, with insight into how carriers systematically analyze large blocks of individual business and identify areas of claim costs that require attention.
Dianne Longley of the Texas DOI provided an excellent overview of reform, from a state perspective, focusing on those areas where state and federal partnering will be critical and outlining some areas where federal and state perspectives may be at odds.
Round table discussions are always members’ favorite part of the meeting and this year’s round tables were no exception. Members were able to dialogue about the usual wide range of operational and risk philosophy issues, but also provide one another with insight on reform legislation impacts. Regulatory changes will continue to impact our industry and the industry will evolve in response to these changes. Risk assessment will also evolve but will remain a key competency for medical insurance carriers.
Change has always been and will continue to be inevitable in all walks of life; underwriters and their organizations must adapt. HUSG will continue to do everything possible to help prepare our members with information to accurately interpret the regulation and adjust to new methods of risk assessment.
This lecture was presented at a conference hosted by the brokerage association NAILBA in Chicago on May 13-14. It is based largely on the results of the 2009 SCOR Global Life Re Teleunderwriting Survey and focuses mainly on survey findings for North American companies doing teleunderwriting.
"Understanding Life Underwriting: A Primer for Health Underwriters" was prepared by Hank for presentation at the 2010 LOMA Health Underwriting Study Group. Hank was unable to attend that meeting and a part of this lecture was presented by his absence by health underwriting guru Sue Nelson.
We are posting Hank's original slides in the hope that they will be of help to health underwriters who are (or may one day be) considering a new underwriting career on the life side.
It is incumbent upon those who set underwriting practices for life insurers to do so in a manner which best accommodates the broad mandates of senior management as they relate to risk appraisal.
This paper, building upon the evidence presented in its 2007 predecessor, makes an overwhelming argument for using NT-proBNP as both a screening and reflexive test. It is also clearly shown that NT-proBNP should replace routine screening with resting electrocardiograms and treadmill tests.
Heart disease is a leading cause of death. The efforts to identify insurance seekers at high risk of premature cardiac-related demise claim the lion’s share of precious dollars allo- cated to medical-risk selection.
Now,life underwriting is blessed with a new marker for cardiac impair- ments. It is totally unlike—and vastly superior to—any test we have ever had to address this vital aspect of risk assessment.
If I were responsible for training new underwriters, the most important concept I would emphasize to them – again and again, until it was uppermost in their mind every time they looked at a case – is CONTEXT.
CONTEXT is defined as all of the factors which come together to put a given impairment, risk-related scenario or individual unfavorable finding into full insurability perspective.
When teleunderwriting began to disseminate in the late 1990s, life insurance underwriting began a literal metamorphosis. The net effect has transformed risk assessment more in the last decade than it changed over the second half of the last century. For compelling reasons, this process will accelerate in 2010 and beyond.