I know most of you rely on me to be more up-to-speed than you on insurance-based changes/issues. That said, there was much discussion about Bill S-201 that was largely overlooked because of the exempt test changes effective on January 1, 2017.
Here’s the scoop…..on May 4, 2017, the Federal Government passed the Genetic Non-Discrimination Act.
“This law makes it illegal to require someone to take a genetic test or disclose the results of a genetic test as a condition to obtain goods or services, or enter into a contract, such as insurance.”
So what exactly does that mean? It means that individuals (you, me, clients) can have genetic testing completed and NOT DISCLOSE those results to the insurance company (it’s now illegal). If an insurance company uses/requests this information and it will be fined $1,000,000.
When I was in Ottawa at calu weeks ago, they are lobbying this issue to the supreme court, but as of today, this law is in effect.
The major unintended consequence of this new law is the creation of anti-selection for insurance purposes. What if a client had genetic tests that showed they were a carrier of the BCRA gene (ie. Angelina Jolie)? Currently, it is possible for a client to have a test showing they are a carrier of this gene, then immediately apply for critical illness insurance and not need to disclose this result.
This law will require the insurance insurance companies to (a) increase price heavily (up to 65%) and/or, (b) completely change the structure of critical illness insurance (or stop selling it entirely).
Since I knew that this change was happening, I literally just increased my own critical illness by $825,000 (I purchased a 20 year term with Manulife). See my summary below:
It’s important we talk more about critical illness insurance before products start to change. I also encourage each of you to consider adding some critical illness to your own insurance portfolio (if you haven’t already).