Could that ever be used by insurers to jack up my rates — or to avoid me altogether? But the industry is moving toward paying them in lump sums for caring for a patient, or for an event, like a knee surgery. Some insurance companies are already using socioeconomic data to help patients get appropriate care, such as programs to help patients with chronic diseases stay healthy.
But Kaufman said it felt wrong: The Affordable Care Act prohibits insurers from denying people coverage based on pre-existing health conditions or charging sick people more for individual or small group plans.
In the United States, companies can harvest personal data unless a specific national business report npr podcast bans it, although California just passed legislation that could create restrictions, said William McGeveran, a professor at the University of Minnesota Law School.
I tracked down Marcos Dachary, who works in business development for Milliman. Electronic medical records now make it easy for insurers to analyze massive amounts of information and combine it with the personal details scooped up by data brokers. This is inferred data. Federal law only requires the company to provide a subset of the information it collected about me.
But I knew that in at least one instance a company was already testing whether the scores could be used as a pricing tool. So, I filled out a request on the LexisNexis website for the company to send me some of the personal information it has on me.
Actuaries calculate health care risks and help set the price of premiums for insurers. A company was accused of putting its enrollment office on the third floor of a building without an elevator, so only healthy patients could make the trek to sign up. The center analyzes health insurance plans to see if they discriminate.
Up front, the prime real estate belonged to the big guns in health data: In those cases, the medical providers can profit more when patients stay healthy. If people are going to be rated by whether they listen to sad songs on Spotify or look up information about AIDS online, they should know, Pasquale said.
It had my phone numbers going back decades and my home addresses going back to my childhood in Golden, Colorado. ProPublica and NPR are investigating the industry and want to hear from you.
And data scores are not properly vetted and validated and available for scrutiny. You could be newly married and have a pricey pregnancy pending. The year-old from Atlanta had earned her doctorate in public health because she wanted to help people, but one day at Aetna, her boss told her to work with a new data set.
The company cited three different federal laws that restricted them and their clients from using the scores in that way. They would not provide a contract. The combined data helps predict the risk of repeat emergency room visits or hospital admissions. Mental health care can be expensive.
Dachary acknowledged the scores could also be used to discriminate. A future in which everything you do — the things you buy, the food you eat, the time you spend watching TV — may help determine how much you pay for health insurance.
Such questions would be moot in Europe, where a strict law took effect in May that bans trading in personal data. And the Trump administration is promoting short-term health plans, which do allow insurers to deny coverage to sick patients.
The companies are tracking your race, education level, TV habits, marital status, net worth.The graying of NPR, and the declines overall, are potentially perilous to the public radio ecosystem.
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