Is Genetic Testing Good for the Insurance Industry?

Genetic testing is nothing new. It started back in 1822 with Gregor Mendel, the founder of the modern science of genetics, and his work on heredity.

HIV and Hepatitis C and B Coinfetions

Around 36 million people are living with HIV in the world today (LVWH). 5 million of them are also infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) and 4 million with hepatitis B virus (HBV). In both cases, HIV and the immunodeficiency it causes, accelerate the progression of hepatitis B or C, inducing increased morbidity and mortality for all three infections.

Lincoln Financial Aims To Slice Turnaround Times in Half

Seeking to appeal to Generation X and millennials who value speed and convenience, Lincoln Financial has introduced a term life policy that aims for approval in as little as 20 days. That's half the time it takes to underwrite traditional term life coverage, the company said.

Zika Virus: A Mortality Risk?

On February 1, 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Zika virus a health emergency of international concern, and a week later, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) elevated its response to the highest level 1. WHO estimates that 4 million people will be infected with Zika virus this year alone, and 30 countries have reported confirmed transmitted cases of Zika virus in the last 9 months, with that number increasing regularly. So what mortality risk does Zika virus carry in underwriting, and how concerned should we be?

Customers’ Pot Smoking May Not Be A Deal Breaker For Life Insurers

If you smoke marijuana and you’re shopping for life insurance, chances are you can find a company that won’t penalize you for your habit, but you may have to weed out several insurers to find the best policy.

Wrecked in a Mist of Opium – The Effects of Prescription Opioid Abuse

The English author and cultural critic Matthew Arnold described fellow poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge as a “philosopher wrecked in a mist of opium.” Using laudanum (a tincture of opium) to treat various ailments led Coleridge to lifelong addiction. Although laudanum is more closely controlled today, non-prescription use of opioid painkillers leads to addiction and remains a significant health threat.

Life Insurance and Annuity Distribution in a Digital World: Four Strategic Shifts

The impact of digital technologies on insurance products, customer expectations and distribution networks is driving rapidly accelerating change in the insurance industry. Determining your distribution strategy in an omnichannel world requires consideration of new alternatives along with traditional channels. Insurers need new insights into familiar challenges when deciding how sales teams will evolve, how processes will adapt and how key supporting technologies will be selected. The challenge is to cut through the noise and develop innovative strategies that integrate your proven traditional distribution approaches (e.g., personal interaction, phone) with new customer demands and new technology.

International Health Briefs – Radiosurgery

Radiosurgery is a well-established and non-invasive mode of treating brain tumours and other lesions, especially in patients for whom open-brain surgery might not be a practical option. Claims professionals can benefit from a greater understanding of the role and efficacy of radiosurgery, particularly when used for conditions with complex neurological causes and in cases that might formerly have been deemed untreatable.

Migraine May Increase Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

Previous research has shown that migraine is a risk factor for stroke, although the reasons why are not understood. A recent study demonstrates that migraine might also be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and mortality.

Lifestyle Factors Can Significantly Affect Cancer Mortality

Most cancer deaths among white Americans could be prevented through four healthy lifestyle changes, according to a study published online May 19 in JAMA Oncology.

Liver-Related Laboratory Tests: Underwriting Assessment (Slides)

Slides from Hank’s May 18 Liver Test presentation at the Rocky Mountain Society of Home Office Underwriters.

RGA ReFlections May 2016 Issue

This edition of ReFlections contains an in-depth review of the role of genetics in the rapidly changing diagnostic criteria, risk stratification, and treatment of individuals with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). RGA also discusses the relatively new but increasingly popular Cancer Reimbursement product and its design, underwriting and claims issues. ReCite, a medical literature review section, has articles of interest to both underwriters and medical directors.

LexisNexis Risk Classifier – An Effective Indicator of Mortality Risk (Munich RE)

Munich Re, US (Life) (Munich Re) assessed LexisNexis® Risk Classifier, which is a predictive modeling tool that was developed by and is proprietary to LexisNexis. LexisNexis allowed Munich Re access to the Risk Classifier in order to perform an objective review of its ability to accurately assess mortality risk using publicly available and easily obtainable non-biometric criteria.

Transforming Life Insurance with Design Thinking

Better addressing the evolving needs of consumers can help incumbents win their loyalty—and protect against new competitors.

Accelerated Underwriting and Simplified Issue | New Underwriting (Slides)

Slides from this session, presented at the 2016 SOA Life & Annuity Symposium, have been posted. See Session 47 at the 8:15-9:30 am time slot.

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