Advancements in hepatitis C (HCV) reach further than just curing 90% of those infected with the virus. For the first time in a quarter of a century, the organ transplant list has decreased thanks to utilizing organs from HCV infected donors.
hepatitis C (HCV)
Prevalence, current therapies and prevention are the key themes for insurers that are reviewing their approach to applications with a history of viral hepatitis.
At the recent Association of Home Office Underwriters (AHOU) meeting, Executive Vice President, Betsy Sears, shared insight that our data analytics team has collected and analyzed comparing self-disclosure to positive confirmations of various laboratory tests. Our insurance clients tell us consistently that fraud is a top concern – whether intentional or unintentional applicant nondisclosure, it can cost companies millions.
Applicants’ self-disclosed Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) status as well as body mass index (BMI) are important risk factors for morbidity and mortality in both accelerated and traditional (full) underwriting processes. In combination with self-disclosed smoking and medical history (diabetes, hypertension, heart failure, high cholesterol), which was discussed in a previous issue of Contingencies, these conditions constitute a majority of the leading medical inputs to the risk-assessment process.
Our recent conversations with insurance partners highlight six prevalent risks at the top of mind for industry leaders today.
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.
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.