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.
In the next decade, genetic tests may become significant and cheap enough that advisers begin suggesting insurance customers test prior to applying for insurance cover. Will consumer behavior change as genetic testing becomes more accessible?
Genomics is at the forefront of a technological revolution in biomedicine and healthcare through which personalised treatment is fast becoming a reality. Genomics will improve care across a range of health problems and allow more targeted therapy. If insurance is indeed a pool into which participants pay sufficient to cover their risk, shouldn’t insurers have access to this genomic knowledge to use in equitable ways to benefit customers?
It used to be impossible to price insurance based on your particular lifestyle, health or habits — but technology has given us the solution, at least for car insurance. How long before health and life insurance follow? The day is coming when the guesswork involved in evaluating factors regarding a consumer’s specific health risk is virtually eliminated.
Technological advances now mean that a human genome can be sequenced for US$4,500 in just a few days. The robust nature of DNA, its ease of collection and portability, has led to the creation of mail-order genetic test services that often have no physician involvement.
The aims of this brochure are to provide the reader with a simple introduction to genes and genetic processes in humans and an insight as to how this rapidly developing field of science could impact on the insurance industry.