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Lifestyle choices could raise your health insurance rates

July 21,2018 22:15

Health insurance providers are paying data brokers to find personal information about their clients -- race, marital status, ability to pay bills and more -- to predict client health costs. But unlike medical records, there aren't any laws that ...


MARSHALL ALLEN:
Yeah, I mean, they’re scoring us and predicting our health care costs based on the groups that we fall into. And so I went to LexisNexis and obtained, they’ll give you a certain portion of your data, and it was like a creepy walk down memory lane for me. They had data for me going back 25 years to the address of the home I grew up in in Golden Colorado. You know, all my old phone numbers. And with each of the addresses, you know, they had a little indicator there: was this a high risk neighborhood or not? And I grew up in a middle class kind of environment, so I didn’t grow up in any high risk neighborhoods. But it made me wonder, what if I had? And when I talk to the industry, I mean, they promise that they’re only using this information for the purpose of helping people. So, what they would say, their argument for doing this is that they can do better case management. But just as it could be used for good, it could also be used to discriminate, and the health insurance industry has a long history of discriminating against sick people. That still goes on to this day.

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PBS NewsHour Weekend full episode July 21, 2018
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