Survival for infected individuals continues to improve as newer, less toxic drugs and simpler one-tablet daily regimens are increasingly available. RGA's Hilary Henly explores what underwriters need to know about HIV in part one of a two part series.
Life Insurance Industry Trends Insurtech Survey 2019
Significant and rapid progress in genetics research and data analytics is currently enabling an unprecedented expansion in science’s understanding of the genetic underpinnings of rare and common diseases. Large-scale cohort studies such as the UK Biobank are helping scientists build powerful prognostic models for a number of diseases, including breast cancer and coronary artery disease, and hastening the development of a new tool for quantifying the inheritability of common diseases: Polygenic risk scores.
Lest anyone think the previous exchange is fanciful or seems a bit paranoid, it is already happening. It is known as using accelerated underwriting using external data and over two dozen U.S. insurers are currently using it.
When one looks at a curve of the mortality rates by age in developed countries, we notice a very regular pattern. Especially the middle-age groups - age 30 to 70+, for example - seem to have close to an exponential curve in mortality rates.
While it sounds like something Joe Friday of Dragnet or the FBI would do, medical surveillance involves the following of a condition before deciding whether or when to take a definitive action of treatment. The waiting period can precede a possible surgery, a medical intervention, or an institution of therapy that disrupts the status quo. That’s what surveillance truly is: Waiting and watching before deciding whether to take an action that will disrupt the status quo.
Genetic testing is becoming more accessible and commonplace, with new genetic links to diseases regularly being identified. However, the many constraints on the use of predictive genetic tests in insurance means that the easy availability of direct consumer testing is an issue that the industry must consider very carefully.
The pressure is on for carriers to provide the best customer experience, while implementing consistent, comprehensive and accurate underwriting policies. Advanced e-underwriting systems can help insurers respond.