Thursday, March 27, 2014
Researchers have developed a simple blood test that is supposed to determine with 90% accuracy whether an individual will develop Alzheimer’s within 2-3 years.
If this test works, it could make early intervention possible and dramatically reduce long-term care costs. However, this test could have the powerful unintended consequence of making voluntary long-term care insurance almost impossible. If insurers see positive results from the test, they would either deny coverage or charge much higher premiums. Even if they are not allowed to see the results, they may still assume buyers know they are likely to contract the disease and raise premiums sharply to account for that, resulting in “the classic insurance death spiral."
See Howard Gleckman, How a New Alzheimer’s Test Could Kill Long-Term Care Insurance—Or Make It Cheaper, Forbes, March 26, 2014.