Some consumer groups question whether issuers give prospects a realistic picture of critical illness incidence rates.

Members of the Society of Actuaries (SOA) seemed to be more interested in information about critical illness insurance claim trigger incidence than in information for some other supplemental health insurance products.

Actuaries gather and analyze the statistics insurers use when they are developing, selling and administering insurance policies.

The SOA gauged the interest of its members in new data-gathering projects by inviting the members to participate in an experience studies interest survey. The SOA received responses from 1,069 members.

In one section of the survey, the survey team asked participants to rate their level of interest in supplemental health survey topics on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 indicating the highest level of interest and 5 indicating the lowest level of interest.

Roughly 200 survey participants rated their level of interest in the supplemental health topics proposed.

The participants with an interest in supplemental health gave critical illness incidence an average rating of 1.78. The participants gave hospital indemnity insurance studies an average rating of 1.84, and accident insurance incidence studies an average rating of 1.96.

Consumer group representatives brought up a lack of credible, publicly available critical illness insurance incidence data recently in comments asking state insurance regulators to study whether critical illness insurance products serve a valid purpose. The consumer reps argued that insurers and agents may manipulate consumers into buying critical illness insurance policies by leading consumers to believe that the risk of suffering a costly critical illness is higher than it really is. 

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The SOA members showed a stronger level of interest in all three supplemental health incidence study ideas than they showed in general insurance ideas or most individual life ideas.

The members expressed more interest in individual disability and group long-term disability (LTD) claim incidence studies than in supplemental health incidence studies. The SOA has done several disability incidence studies in the past, but the idea of doing a new individual disability incidence study received an average interest rating of 1.58, and the idea of doing a new group LTD incidence study received an average interest rating of 1.55.

See also:

Actuaries choose new LTC future shapers

Why that new LTCI experience study matters

  

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