Germany domiciled reinsurance giant Munich Re has partnered with Lincoln Financial Group to develop new life insurance opportunities for Americans with hepatitis C, in light of recent medical advances.
The industry-first partnership sees the pair enable the offering of more favourable underwriting ratings for the majority of people afflicted with hepatitis C that have been successfully treated, which will result in reduced costs for life insurance protection.
Furthermore, the new partnership enables Lincoln Financial Group to expand its coverage eligibility for some individuals currently untreated.
The Center for Disease Control claims that between 2.7 million and 3.9 million people in the U.S. have chronic hepatitis C, with most people unaware they are infected with the disease.
Commenting on the new partnership Mike Burns, Senior Vice President (SVP) of Life Solutions, Lincoln Financial Group, said; “Lincoln is excited to partner with Munich Re to make the important protections of life insurance more attainable and affordable for those with hepatitis C.
“This leading-edge collaboration is a milestone for our industry, and it represents a significant step-forward in helping many people with this disease overcome some of the financial planning challenges they may have previously faced due to associated long-term health problems.”
Vice President of Underwriting and Medical, Munich Re, Bill Moore, said; “The incredible strides that have been made in treating hepatitis C are making it possible to take a focused, proactive approach to providing innovative coverage for individuals living with hepatitis C. We constantly monitor medical advancements not only in the U.S., but around the world, to help our customers expand their customer base and we are delighted to partner with Lincoln Financial Group in this effort.”
The new life insurance opportunities enabled by the partnership will be available to Lincoln Financial Group term and permanent policies, with coverage up to $20 million, dependent on age and rating class, says the firm.
And in addition to the new partnership with reinsurer Munich Re, Lincoln Financial Group has revealed that it will work with its lab vendors to offer hepatitis C testing in 2017 to baby boomers applying for a Lincoln life insurance policy.
Dr. John Greene, Vice President and Chief Medical Director, Lincoln Financial Group, said; “The treatment of the hepatitis C virus infection has evolved significantly in recent years with the development of direct-acting viral medications resulting in shorter treatment duration, fewer side effects and improved cure rates.
“Lincoln and Munich Re have made it a priority to incorporate the newest clinical information about these medical advancements in our underwriting approach, which has resulted in improved or new life insurance opportunities for those with the disease.”