One of the rewards of societal progress is medical advancement and its ability to save and improve lives. As science and technology advance, new frontiers are opening and new challenges are coming into sight, and insurers will have an important role to play.
In recent years, we have observed a broad spectrum of medical advances, some of which are likely to have a transformative effect on our life and society. Yet these advances will not come without challenges.
The traditional model of insurers is like to be challenged, as problems such as anti-selection risk become acute against a backdrop of improvements in genetic testing and the resulting information imbalance. Solving this with the interest of all insureds in mind will be complicated by regulations intent on preventing discrimination against individuals in the provision of life and health insurance.
The vast expansion in the quantity and specificity of medical and personal data will also increase the importance of data protection and privacy. Finally, the projected increasing reliance on AI raises separate and multiple issues, including the question of where liability might lie in the case of incorrect diagnosis by an algorithm.
How do these changes related to medical advances affect the insurance industry and its role? In general, insurers welcome and encourage medical progress. There is a fundamental and clear alignment of interest regarding people’s well-being; and insurers support this through their products and services. Therefore, it can be expected that they will continue to develop products that are adapted to the needs of the evolving medical landscape. However, an appropriate sharing of the cost burden between the patient, the insurer and the state is needed to ensure that the system continues to be sustainable.
In this rapidly changing and developing field that brings both risks and opportunities, insurers will have an important role to play.
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