gene testing / insurance

Paul Schlosser SCHLOSSER at
Mon Feb 28 09:45:57 EST 1994

Will the insurance companies offer discounts to individuals who are neagative,
or just increase the charges to positive testers (for some risk factor)?

Yes, the companies do have a right to a *reasonable* profit.

When it comes to life-style choices, charging extra to those who practice
risky behavior does encourage healthy living, and is fair in that this is
a matter of personal choice - **so long as the charge accurately represents
the actual risk**.  People who are born with a genetic defect do not have
control over it, and so the only function that differing fees would serve is
to (presumably) reduce the fee being paid by those with "no bad genes."

So the question is:  should the "cost" of detectable genetic risk factors be
distributed evenly, or placed on those who have them?  I prefer the even
distribution because: 1) the *choice* over reproduction should be that of the
mother and, in marriage, the father (though an informed choice is preferable);
2) children should not be penalized for the choice of their parents.

What is the stance of insurance companies w.r.t. risky sports like skiing,
scuba-diving, hang-gliding, rock-climbing, etc.?  Are people who participate
in these more or less healthy than those who don't?  Is this reflected in
their insurance premiums?  If these are risky, is it fair to people who
participate them or not; ie., is the cost of risk fairly distributed for
currently known risk factors, or are certain types of risk singled out?

schlosser at
(all my own opinions)

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