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DNA testing on Long Term Health Insurance and Life Insurance

Discussion in 'Health News and Research unrelated to ME/CFS' started by BeautifulDay, Mar 4, 2018.

  1. BeautifulDay

    BeautifulDay Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    Watching this webcast activated my mind. Specifically, it discusses how DNA testing companies (like 23andme) are changing the field of long term health insurance and life insurance.

    The point is that such insurance companies create standard rates to apply against categories such as male non-smokers in a certain age bracket. This way the risk gets spread across the group and the insurance companies can estimate their profit with great accuracy.

    Now that people are testing with companies like 23andme, if they find out they have something like the APOE4 gene that significantly increases the risk for Alzheimer's, then those people are more likely to purchase such insurance. However, people who have no such high risk variants are going to be less likely to purchase such insurance. In the future, this could skew the group rates (by increasing the people who need to tap long term insurance or die early).

    While insurance companies cannot currently get 23andme records, when someone has a test done in a doctors office and the insurance company gets copies of all medical records, then the insurance carriers are made fully aware of any mutations found on tests done by the doctor (or 23andme test results brought into the doctor and written down in the doctor's notes).

    I don't believe the accuracy and the amount of mutations that are known to date is really there at the level needed to impact insurance companies yet in the home DNA test community. But I do understand why it's on their radar for the future. The title of this broadcast that "DNA Testing Could Kill Insurance Industry" is pretty far fetched. The executives have the PAC money and lobbyists to change the industry as needed to keep their profits flowing.

    While it would be great if the kids and I didn't have health issues and mutations in our medical records, the fact is we are sick and finding answers is the only way the quality of our lives will be improved. Therefore, the discussion of whether to do medical DNA testing or not is not an issue for us.



    Your thoughts?
     
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  2. Barry

    Barry Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Insurance is all about spreading risk across individuals who do not know their individual risks. Once individuals and insurance companies know the individual risks, then presumably the whole business model of life and health insurance is up a gum tree.
     
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  3. BruceInOz

    BruceInOz Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    The solution is simple. Governments (i.e., we, the people) must legislate to ensure risk is spread. Unbridled capitalism is a horrible place. Just ask child coal miners from the 19th century.
     
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  4. Alvin

    Alvin Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Many countries do not outlaw genetic discrimination. That said this is not a huge issue when coverage is universal but there is still insurance in medical areas such as drugs or life insurance that can be discriminated against even in universal healthcare countries :emoji_face_palm:
     
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  5. Valentijn

    Valentijn Not a moderator

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    Yes, that's why it is important that the funding of health care not be a business - or at least a VERY tightly regulated one. If there is insurance (versus free care paid for with taxes), it has to be universal with universal fees.
     

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