Using Social Media For Underwriting

As healthcare moves towards an individual market where prior conditions can’t be excluded, will health plans be able to use social media data in underwriting? It seems logical. If I can understand your behaviors, I can asses your risk for life insurance, and I can predict some healthcare costs.

  • Do you talk about going to the gym?
  • Do you talk about drinking and smoking?
  • Do you share pictures of food and is it healthy?
  • Are you checking in at places like McDonalds or places like the park?
  • Do you have an active social network?
  • Are you going to the dentist and getting flu shots?

As companies like salesforce.com integrate social media through things like Radian6, can this type of tagging and data use be far behind?

The other question is whether is should get used?

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2 Responses to “Using Social Media For Underwriting”

  1. It would rub me the wrong way. But aside from the privacy concerns, it would be offputting for the simple fact that my healthcare dollars would be wasted with no benefit whatsoever to myself or any other American, aside from the (already rich) clowns pocketing additional profits made on cheap gimmicks that help them figure out new ways of contracting coverage.

  2. Excellent question! To which an interesting case study (details bellow) presents in site into why it can enable smarter expenditure on programs with specially targeted messaging.

    Social Networks and the Development of Insurance Markets: Evidence from Randomized Experiments in China1
    By Jing Cai at University of California at Berkeley published Aug 16th, 2011

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