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  • NIH Aug 1, 2001 | R01

    Genetic Information and Life Insurance Underwriting

    Principal Investigator(s): Rothstein, Mark

    Institution: University of Louisville

    FOA Number: N/A


    The proposed research will study whether there should be any limits placed on life insurers' use of predictive genetic information in risk classification or medical underwriting. The research will focus on the following issues:

    - the current state of the science on the use of predictive genetic information in mortality risk calculations;

    - the statutory and case law addressing actuarial fairness in life insurance;

    - existing and proposed legislative activity regulating life insurers' use of genetic information (including life insurers' ability to request or require genetic testing);

    - the case law allowing individuals to challenge their denial of life insurance coverage or premium rates under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act;

    - antitrust and other legal constraints on cooperation among life insurance companies with regard to their use of predictive medical information in underwriting;

    - consumer attitudes toward life insurance and genetic information, including consumer perceptions of adverse selection pressures based on predictive genetic information;

    - comparative law perspectives on genetics and life insurance;

    - the moral mission and social function of life insurance; and

    - the development of policy options and possible legislative and regulatory strategies.

    The research design will consist of traditional legal, medical science, social science, and bioethics research and analysis. A detailed, national consumer survey instrument will be prepared and administered by a specially selected contractor. Leading experts in the fields of life insurance, economics, genetics, insurance law, comparative law, and philosophy will research and write a chapter on their respective topics in advance of a conference in Houston, Texas. Additional invited guests at the conference will be other experts as well as representatives of the insurance industry, consumers, elected officials, and regulatory bodies. The conference will focus on building consensus and advancing understanding in areas of disagreement. The chapters, as well as the positions developed at the conference, will form the basis of a book to be published by a major publisher.




    Funding Type:

    Project Number:

    Start Date:
    Aug 1, 2001

    End Date:
    Jul 31, 2003



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