A redesigned ReFlections highlights insights from RGA Vice President and Medical Director Dr. Daniel D. Zimmerman into the 'new frontier' of hepatitis C. Mark Dion, RGA Vice President, Global Underwriting Strategic Innovation, explores the quantified self movement. A new column, ReCite, links to medical articles for insurance professionals, and the edition features a report on mortality and longevity research funded by The Longer Life Foundation, which is supported by RGA and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
The debate regarding marijuana use and its legalization rages on with little hope that the smoke will clear anytime soon. Marijuana, or cannabis – its international and scientific name – is the third most popular recreational drug in America, after alcohol and nicotine-containing products. As such, it presents a multitude of underwriting challenges.
Life insurers adopted the Body Mass Index (BMI) in the 1980s to help determine an applicant’s weight class. According to the World Health Organization, an individual with a BMI of 30 or more is obese; if their BMI is over 40, the person is morbidly obese.
The last touches on wrapping up a case can be some of the most difficult ones. Most everything is in, the case is ready to be paid for, but there is underwriting information that is outstanding: a test result unaccounted for; an APS that hasn’t come in; a doctor’s office that is taking its time in getting out information that is critical. There’s got to be an easier way.
In underwriting, the ability to obtain accurate health information from an applicant is paramount. The practice of asking people to report their health has been perfected over decades, yet under-reporting remains an issue in markets around the world. This leads us to consider: is it something about the way we ask the question?
The American population continues to age. Based on 2010 census results, there were approximately 26 million individuals between age 70 and 89, representing a little over eight percent of the population. Other sources indicate that upwards of 10,000 individuals turn 65 every day.
Whether it’s measuring fitness, activity, sleep or even stress levels there is a growing market for fitness wearables and sports trackers that has got our industry thinking about whether the data from these devices can be used to underwrite people; effectively rewarding the fittest, healthiest lives by reducing their premiums.