Georgetown University Medical center has recently announced that it has devloped a blood test that predicts with high accuracy whether a healthy person will develop Alzheimer's. A CNN Article about the findings can be found here.
Since currently there are no good ways to predict Alzheimer's (except for possible genetic markers) the news is big. If the early results hold true and an inexpensive test can be given at doctors office, what might happen? For LTC Insurers and possible LTC Insurance consumers, the breakthrough could offer big challenges.
For consumers, taking the test from their doctor and finding out they have Alzheimer's may leave them insurable - since medical records are routinely ordered by LTC applicants, any record of taking the test may raise possible red flags that may lead to a decline. In fact, anyone without LTC insurance should be aware that discussing possible memory issues with doctors may lead to problems with obtaining coverage at some point.
For LTC insurers, some are already doing blood work - will they be tempted to test for Alzheimer's? Will that lead to consumers saying LTC insurance is not worth the gamble of finding out they have an incurable disease?
One thing for certain - a cure for Alzheimer's would greatly benefit insurers (who wouldn't have to pay on the biggest claim item) and everyone else. But this testing issue may create tough issues that will need to be tackled. What do you think? Comment below