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Genetic Testing & insurance

Recently, Genetic Testing has become increasingly popular and made easily accessible. If you haven’t already seen social media advertisements on how a saliva swab test can help you detect dietary issues, ancestry lineages, disease risks, and more, now you know they exist.

One of the reasons Genetic Testing appeals to people is that it allows them to have more insight into their health. https://cnalifestyle.channelnewsasia.com/women/best-dna-test-kits-singapore-genetic-testing-278586

Considering the above trends, here are some Industry updates on Genetic Testing and its implications for Insurance applications.

For example, how likely are women to carry a mutated gene that can lead to breast cancer? https://cnalifestyle.channelnewsasia.com/wellness/breast-cancer-women-mutated-genes-281546

With effect from 27/10/2021, the Ministry of Health & Life Insurance Association of Singapore have announced certain guidelines on the usage of Predictive Genetic Testing for Insurance applications which will affect future applications of the following insurance policies (subject to certain limits):

  • Life insurance
  • Total & Permanent Disability
  • Long-term care
  • Disability income

Approaved predictive genetic tests

  • Huntington’s disease
  • Breast cancer (BRCA 1 & BRCA 2)

How does this new moratorium benefit you?

Consumer protection: Insurers cannot request your genetic test results (unless coverage applied exceeds the current limits, and only for the approved predictive genetic tests) or send you for genetic tests for insurance applications. This prevents the insurers from adverse selection (I.e., selecting only healthy individuals and excluding others)

Implications

While this change does not affect existing policies taken up before 27/10/2021, requests to increase the sum assured on existing policies or even reinstatement of lapsed policies, may be subject to these new regulations.

The Future

Nobody knows for sure how long will this moratorium last to protect consumers, which prevents insurers from requesting results of your predictive genetic tests. Depending on genetic research advancements, this may also change the way insurers use this information when assessing applications both for and against.

What can we do?

  • Regardless of the duration of this Moratorium period, life goes on and there are still loved ones to be protected
  • The healthy clients today can consider setting up a foundation for their descendants by creating a Family Trust which can fund health contingencies or the inability to be insured.
  • Ensure Insurability of our Children by protecting them early before detection of health issues.
  • Ensure your Premium Payment accounts are updated, and Policies are serviced promptly as the reinstatement of lapsed Policies may be subject to Underwriting &/or Genetic Tests declaration

Feel free to reach out to us if you have any queries or would like to review your existing coverage.
Meanwhile, wishing you the best of health!

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