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Life Insurance companies using Predictive Health Scores to underwrite policies – Fiction
01/29/2021

Jane and I were sitting for dinner when both our phones buzzed at the same, the messages were identical. I quickly glanced at the calendar and today was April 26, 2026 and our TICO Health Scores have arrived!

We both stared at our gadgets silently, knowing very well what each of us were thinking and it was certainly not dinner. My mind travelled 3 days back in time to the conversation we had with Steve, our Financial Planner. He wanted us to buy $ 3 million life insurance policies each and asked if we have our PRS, we never heard about it, so replied in negative. He explained that the Life Insurance companies now require a Polygenic Risk Score (PRS) to underwrite life policies. PRS is a score calculated by using an individual’s genetic sequencing data and the Electronic Health Records (EHRs) and is primarily used to predict the risk of diseases for any individual with significantly high degree of accuracy. PRS certainly sounded next-gen, especially when I compared it to the experience not too long ago of my cousin who had to get his blood drawn and other lab work completed for the underwriters to decide on the policy limits and premiums. I guess, now they will just look at my score to underwrite and I don’t have to get fingers pricked by a needle, how cool !

With excitement, I logged into my TICO Health account and there it is, my PRS in bold red font ! Wait, there is more beneath the score and I started reading out loud “59% chance to get a Type 2 Diabetes by age 38, 67% chance of having hypertension by age 45, 89% chance of getting heart attack in 50s and 38% probability that I may not live beyond age 57”. I STOPPED reading, I was expecting just a number, like the credit score from FICO, the better the number, the better the deals I get on loans and credit cards. However, this is way different, what happens if this info gets into the hands of others, will I still get my medical insurance, what about my driving license, and my auto premiums, will I get any life insurance with these kinds of predictions. The thought itself is scary.   I saw Jane trying to log into her own FICO Health account.  I am now yelling “ Jane STOP, please NO please don’t do it ” . I wanted to snatch the phone away from her hands but I couldn’t and I started screaming and suddenly, I hear Jane softly saying “Honey, you ok?” and I opened my eyes !

Disclaimer – the above is purely fictional work and is the imagination of the author – Srini Karra.

About the Author: Srini is Vice President, Operations at Centene Advanced Behavioral Health. He leads strategy execution, business integration and transformation with additional focus on business intelligence and analytics.

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