What’s in Your DNA? Genetic Testing and Insurance Rates
Updated: Sep 20
We have all been there, seeing a new doctor and being asked numerous questions about your health history. If you are like the majority of people, you have a hard time with this. Not only is it difficult to remember, it is difficult to know your family health history in the first place. Firstly, some people do not have access to family health records because of deceased family members. Secondly, people that were adopted may never have the ability to know the health history of biological parents.
This leaves people to guess on important questions and not provide correct medical backgrounds to healthcare professionals. There can be risks to not knowing your health history. First of all, you will not know the illnesses you are more prone to such as diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Having this knowledge would allow the individual to alter their lifestyle choices and behaviors to avoid the risk of getting the disease.
At-Home Genetic Testing Kits
We live in a fast-paced and technology-driven world where everything is at our fingertips, including genetic testing. Yes, you read that correctly, genetic testing kits are now delivered to your door and sent back to a lab for testing and analysis. There are a few different services that have taken the spotlight over the last couple of years. “Ancestry” and “23andMe” have allowed people all over the world to take a look inside their DNA and be proactive with their health.
How They Work
The testing covers a wide range of categories all from one vile of saliva and some quick questionnaires. In just under six weeks, customers can have access to an entire health profile, genetic breakdown, and links to ancestry. People have been able to learn that they were at risk for diseases they could prevent. These genetic breakdowns are one of the most responsible things you can do to manage your health and prepare for the future. For example, many people choose to take this step before deciding to have children. This way, they can ensure there are no severe illnesses present before conceiving. Hence, genetic testing can help young families take control of their health and life.
Effect on Your Insurance Rates
With more knowledge about your health and potential risks, it makes sense that insurance agencies will consider genetic backgrounds for coverage. This can work both in your favor and also against you. This has been a concern for consumers since the beginning. These online tests are not medical genetic tests, and therefore not connected directly to insurance policies. This means that you can have your results for personal use and private conversations with your healthcare provider. In conclusion, the test results could tell you valuable information to help you choose a life insurance policy to best fit you and your family. The more you know, the more prepared you are.