Once the tests exist they will be used. The tests have the most impact on life insurance and disability insurance. These are the insurances that most people acknowledge are not a guaranteed right to have. It would make no business sense for a life insurance company not to test for the gene (as an example) for Huntington’s disease, if a parent has it. The insurance company would be guaranteed to have to pay out money if the person requesting the insurance had the gene.
Since we all pay for the care of patients who have the diseases and genetic conditions that can now be tested for, the tests will not affect overall healthcare costs, in fact they may lower them by facilitating early interventions.
It was interesting to see that most people who posted would want to know.
I don’t… and I and my family have not been tested
These are the insurance concerns I was referring to, as well as long-term care insurance.
As a middle-aged person, I look at serious illness and death differently than I did in my youth. Now I see myself walking on the downhill side of the peak of health. Certainly far from decrepit, but the signs of decline are there. I would want to know now if I had a good chance of ovarian cancer, etc., so I could be on the lookout. But I have a loyal husband and two grown sons already. In contrast, when I was a young, unmarried woman, I would not have been comfortable knowing I was destined for ovarian cancer. The prospect of having parts removed or else informing my fiance’ of the situation would have been very, very difficult for me to process.
However, it seems that whenever a new technology arises, it will be used. And so I predict that in a generation or so, most Americans will be genetically tested. The insurance industry policies will have to be adapted to the knowledge.
Once the tests exist they will be used. The tests have the most impact on life insurance and disability insurance.
You’re right, thanks for the clarification. I meant to say health insurance.
Honestly, I wouldn’t WANT to know, but I realize that it’s best that I do. I’m one of those stereotypical “If the doctor doesn’t tell me I don’t have to think about it” bad patients. But luckily, I’ve wised up a bit and realized how irrational and counter-productive that is.
I’m a practicing physician and I’m still irrational. My wife is on me all the time. I approach weight loss, I’m slightly overweight, in a similar fashion. That is to say, I operate on the well practiced principle that: “if someone doesn’t see you eat some item of food, it has no caloric value.”