Medical Underwriting: Global Health Brief – Liquid Biopsy
Liquid biopsies are noninvasive tests that could potentially lead to early detection of cancer by identifying the genetic material cancerous tumors shed into the bloodstream and other bodily fluids. It is now possible to test for biomarkers such as circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA). As these tests gain a foothold in clinical practice, insurance professionals must understand liquid biopsies and the implications for underwriting and product development.
The Competitive Advantage: The Death of Underwriting and Underwriters
Underwriting is not dying. It is just being automated into digital algorithms versus analog human beings.
Cancer Mortality Patterns in Insured Lives
For life insurers, a major source of mortality risk mitigation is prudent underwriting at the time of application, which should ultimately reduce future claim costs. One way to refine the underwriting process is through measuring the impact of underwriting using insurance claims experience.
Assessing Elderly Heart Disease Risk
The prevalence of cardiovascular disease - hypertension, coronary heart disease, heart failure or stroke - increases with age. Often, multiple cardiac conditions coexist with other illnesses, and this makes risk assessments for applicants aged 70 and above extremely complex for underwriters.
Designing Life Insurance Application Forms Fit for Changing Times
When filling out an application for insurance, a person typically faces questions that are comprehensive, somewhat complex, and perhaps even a barrier to getting the business done. This is particularly true of life insurance application forms dominated by health-related questions. The underwriters’ aim - to get profound levels of disclosure - is frequently at odds with the marketing department desire for simplicity; customers despair at what they see as extensive and difficult questioning.
CIOs Discuss Strategy, Challenges and Industry Changes
Top insurance industry CIOs discuss emerging trends, top technology initiatives, challenges and change in the industry overall.
To Tell the Truth: Applicant Nondisclosure of Obesity and HIV and Hepatitis C
Applicants’ self-disclosed Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) status as well as body mass index (BMI) are important risk factors for morbidity and mortality in both accelerated and traditional (full) underwriting processes. In combination with self-disclosed smoking and medical history (diabetes, hypertension, heart failure, high cholesterol), which was discussed in a previous issue of Contingencies, these conditions constitute a majority of the leading medical inputs to the risk-assessment process.
Impaired Risk Review: Mesothelioma
A tumor with a very serious prognosis, mesotheliomas are primary neoplasms that arise from either the pleura surrounding the lung or the peritoneum. Most mesotheliomas are diffuse and malignant, while a minority (less than 25 percent) are localized and benign in activity. It’s important to recognize these growths as they have serious and rapid progressions when diagnosed in many cases.