Can the Alzheimer’s Biomarker Lead to ‘Insurance Discrimination’?

Can the Alzheimer’s Biomarker Lead to ‘Insurance Discrimination’?

Biomarker tests are used by doctors to identify changes in the body that might not yet be apparent to the patient under scrutiny.

In the case of Alzheimer’s disease, several tests are available to ferret out deviations in brain and body that could reveal the early onset of the disease.

By themselves, the tests don’t indicate with certainty that the disease will occur, but they provide early warning so the patient can be more closely monitored. The question under consideration in the linked article is this: if a person is tested and Alzheimer’s biomarkers are identified, could they be denied long-term health coverage insurance?

Academics at the University of California San Francisco examined state law to see if people tagged with Alzheimer’s biomarkers are protected by anti-discrimination legislation. Specifically, they wanted to find out if insurance companies could deny long-term care policies to such people.

Very few Americans have long-term care insurance, with high premiums and misconceptions about the coverage provided by Medicare among the reasons. Another factor is in play, though: nearly a quarter of those who apply for LT coverage are rejected by the insurance company based on health risks factors.

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The researchers also scrutinized the National Association of Insurance Commissioners Model Act and found that it says little about potentially discriminatory practices among insurers. State law is similar, with a majority allowing health information to be used by insurers in deciding whether to extend coverage or not. While recognizing the problems faced by insurers, the research team concluded that revisions are needed in both the Model Act and state legislation to boost the potential for people to acquire essential long-term insurance coverage.  

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For more information, please read:
Alzheimer Disease Biomarkers Expose Individuals to Long-Term Care Insurance Denial | Medical Bag


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