The next time you apply for individual health insurance be prepared for a variety of preliminary evaluation testing procedures to see if the insurer will reject or accept you including: testing of blood, urine, presence of alcohol or smoking, and evaluating your genetic composition.
In the individual private healthcare market there is the concept of health insurance medical underwriting. It involves assessing and quantifying a prospective applicant who is applying for coverage as a potential liability or risk to the insurer by a professional underwriter. The process is similar to applying for a loan from a commercial bank. There are basically three types of risk the insurer will screen for.
(1) Physical Risk; The primary concern regarding the applicant. In this context the issue is in regards to the medical condition of the proposed insured or a propensity towards cancer determined by family history.
(2) Morale Risk; A potential insurer would forgo consideration of an application altogether if there is any explicit or implicit evidence of the applicant involved in hazardous avocations, sports, or occupations.
(3) Moral Risk; An insurer will definitely attempt to avoid the speculation of insuring an applicant who has an inclination to suicidal tendencies, criminal behavior, and certain lifestyle habits or tendencies.
For years insurers predicated on the reliance of multiple sub-systems derived from strategic cumulative integration of intelligent computers to draw their conclusions for the purpose of risk assessment. A new technology currently in experimental phases funded through Kaiser University has discovered a statistical methodology to ascertain and unify all three risk categories in unison during real time for the purpose of medical underwriting by utilizing genetically calculated risk scoring algorithms. It is a highly interoperable biometric screening application interconnected to a plurality of relational healthcare databases. The silicon apparatus utilizes an infrared thermal touch screen sensor as a biometrical identifier that verifies the integrity of an applicant’s personal genetic profile with razor sharp precision by credentialing his or her fingerprints against federal law enforcement databases, national automated verification systems, and a compilation of tabulated DNA repositories.
Humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes containing their DNA blueprint. One member of each chromosomal pair comes from their mother, the other comes from their father. Every cell in a human body contains a copy of this DNA. The large majority of DNA does not differ from person to person, but 0.10 percent of a person’s entire genome would be unique to each individual. This represents 3 million base pairs of DNA. In clinical studies this percentile has proven to be meaningful enough to structurally composite predictive valuations of significant importance to an insurance company including approximating personal behavioral tendencies, psychological proficiency, and expectancy of mortality or morbidity. It has been so proficient in screening risk that a law was recently passed to protect employees and insured applicants from its discriminatory prejudice known as The Genetic Information Non Discriminatory Act. However, the act is convoluted by pretenses directly or indirectly imposed by The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act which places little restriction on the information that can be shared by HIPPA covered entities.
What Does My DNA Have To Do With My Health Insurance?
Over the last few decades insurance carriers began data warehousing many of the popular DNA databases such as the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System and CODIS with mixed usage proprietary commercial datasets such as Ingenix, Physician Computer Network, Intelliscript, Medical Information Bureau, and even Secure Flight Passenger Data compiled by The Transportation Security Administration. The so called purpose of this was for authentication and with the recent caveat of electronic health records identity theft, authenticity of an applicant was the alibi insurance companies needed to exploit and get away with this, at the same time create a more robust underwriting system. Just remember the next time you visit the general practitioner you signed a petition form authorizing all parties managing your care to share knowledge regarding your health which in unique circumstances grants special permissions to all parties above.
How This New System Works.
A fingerprint is made of a number of ridges and valleys on the surface of the finger. Ridges are the upper skin layer segments of the finger and valleys are the lower segments. The ridges form so-called minutia points: ridge endings (where a ridge end) and ridge bifurcations (where a ridge splits in two). Many types of minutiae exist, including dots (very small ridges), islands (ridges slightly longer than dots, occupying a middle space between two temporarily divergent ridges), ponds or lakes (empty spaces between two temporarily divergent ridges), spurs (a notch protruding from a ridge), bridges (small ridges joining two longer adjacent ridges), and crossovers (two ridges which cross each other).The uniqueness of a fingerprint can be determined by the pattern of ridges and furrows as well as the minutiae points. There are five basic fingerprint patterns: arch, tented arch, left loop, right loop and whorl. Loops make up 60% of all fingerprints, whorls account for 30%, and arches for 10%. Fingerprints are usually considered to be unique, with no two fingers having the exact same dermal ridge characteristics. The biometric device measures kinetic heat frequencies from an applicants touch disseminated throughout minutia points and automates a recognition key cipher query from ridges through a call interface dispatched by an encrypted terminal control program. Basically, the examiner will inquire based on the information presented to him and await an answer from the mainframe computer in remote proximity. I don’t know about you but somehow the thought of my data traveling around through a typical client/server type architecture does not make feel comfortable at all. Just imagine all the errors that can go wrong. The new system is ripe for exploits in at every social level in addition to invading all our rights of privacy as citizens, never mind qualifying for coverage.
There Is Something You Can Do.
If you do not want to insurance companies having access to your sensitive private health information among many other things such as your financial prowess, consumption, personality or lifestyle the first thing you might want to do is avoid applying with Kaiser Permanent or any of the fellow member insurance companies owned by National Electronic Information Corporation, it is bad enough we have to be ordained by The Medical Information Bureau just to even get health insurance in the first place.