Genetic Testing and Health Insurance
By Ryan Lodge
Suppose there was a test that could determine who would win the Super Bowl.A test like this would surely destroy the market for bets on the game.Now imagine that insurance companies had a genetic test to measure the level of health risk a person may have.Today, insurance companies do have the technology and desire to do this.Genetic tests will soon be used by insurance companies to predict the potential health problems of their clients, to set premiums.Little do insurance companies realize, however, the horrific financial damage genetic testing will do upon them, leading to a whole plethora of new problems for the insurance industry as a whole.The right of insurance companies to view genetic tests and to enforce customers to take genetic tests should be simply revoked to prevent a quick and tragic death of the insurance industry.
When a person buys insurance they are betting that something bad will happen to them.If something bad does happen, they win the bet.Their insurance will cover the cost of their claim.However, if nothing bad does happen, they lose the bet and all of their money has gone to a worthless cause.Buying insurance is therefore a bet that is used as a precautionary tool, to reduce a persons overall risk.
Genetic tests create a no-win scenario for insurance companies, and yet they do not realize this.If insurance companies, themselves, do not have clients tested, then clients will still have themselves tested to determine what their insurance needs are.Only the customers with genetic tests that show high or moderate heath risks will even consider the need for insurance.The following chart illustrates how the insurance industry currently charges customers.As can be seen, health risk levels are unknown, therefore the insurance companies charge person A, B, and C the same.
Person Heath Risk Cost to Insure
A Unknown $1,000.00