MassMutual Partners with HLI to Offer Whole Genome Sequencing to Policyholders

The insurer, which will receive no genomic information about policyholders, anticipates the value of their utilizing the offering as a driver of reflection on the benefits of a long and healthy life, and the means to ensure it.

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(Image credit: Adobe Stock.)

MassMutual (Springfield, Mass.) has signed a multi-year agreement with Human Longevity, Inc. (HLI, San Diego), a genomics-based, health intelligence company, to offer HLI’s whole genome sequencing product, HLIQ Whole Genome, to eligible MassMutual customers, employees and financial professionals at a reduced price.

“MassMutual has long believed that both financial and physical health are important, inextricably linked components of individual well-being,” comments Gareth Ross, Chief Digital and Customer Experience Officer, MassMutual. “Our cutting-edge agreement with HLI—which is unlike anything else in our industry—may better enable our customers, employees and financial professionals to see the benefits of a long and healthy life.”

Gareth Ross, Chief Digital and Customer Experience Officer, MassMutual.

Gareth Ross, Chief Digital and Customer Experience Officer, MassMutual.

HLIQ Whole Genome, which is ordered by a client’s physician, includes comprehensive sequencing and analysis of the individual’s whole genome, according to a joint statement from MassMutual and HLI. The report may give insight into health status and risk for disease, details on which pharmaceuticals may work better for individuals, carrier status for family planning decisions, along with ancestry and personal traits. Clients and their doctors will receive an electronic version of the genome report and their entire genome in a printable poster format.

No Genomic Data Shared with Insurer

The announcement stresses that HLI’s data security standards are designed to fully protect client data. MassMutual will not receive from HLI any data, including genomic data, on policyholders, customers, employees or financial professionals using the service. MassMutual reports that it does not pay for or otherwise subsidize the cost of the HLIQ Whole Genome. The voluntary program is available to existing MassMutual customers as of yesterday, March 14, 2017.

“Current practice of medicine is reactive, focused on management of disease and costly,” comments Cynthia Collins, CEO, HLI. “The HLIQ Whole Genome is one of HLI’s novel solutions to help make healthcare more predictive, proactive, and preventative. We continue to believe that genomics will play an increasingly important role across a variety of business sectors including insurance and look forward to working with MassMutual.”

HLI claims to have developed one of the world’s largest databases, which currently has approximately 40,000 genomes and related phenotype (physical trait) data. HLI says that the database, combined with HLI’s proprietary tools and machine learning capabilities, may enable the company to make new discoveries from the genome, which could lead to more novel insights for customers. “Clients also have the added benefit of knowing that their genomic data is helping to enhance the overall understanding of health and disease,” an HLI statement says. The company says that the initiative undertaken with MassMutual should help enable HLI reach its goal of providing up to 200,000 HLIQ Whole Genome reports.

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Anthony R. O’Donnell // Anthony O'Donnell is Executive Editor of Insurance Innovation Reporter. For over a decade he has been an observer and commentator on the use of information technology in the insurance industry, following industry trends and writing about the use of IT across all sectors of the insurance industry. He can be reached at AnthODonnell@IIReporter.com or (503) 936-2803.

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