(Image source: GRAIL.)
John Hancock (Boston), a unit of Manulife (Toronto), announced it will expand access to GRAIL’s Galleri multi-cancer early detection test to eligible life insurance customers participating in the John Hancock Vitality PLUS program, which the carrier characterizes as a significant milestone in its ongoing efforts to help customers live longer, healthier, better lives. The expanded access comes after John Hancock became the first life insurance carrier to make the breakthrough screening technology available to a pilot group of customers in September 2022. The Galleri test is manufactured and distributed by GRAIL, which is not affiliated with John Hancock.
John Hancock describes Galleri as the first-of-a-kind test available for detection of a shared cancer signal across more than 50 cancer types that can be localized to specific tissues or organs to help clinicians focus their diagnostic evaluation. For the majority of these cancer types, there are no alternative screening options available. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States with 610,000 deaths estimated to occur in 2023. The ACS cites better early detection, among other advances, as a driving factor in reducing the death rate by a third since 19911.
Critical Need to Expand Awareness
“The initial pilot exceeded our expectations in terms of the number of tests requested, validating our hypothesis that our customers want access to this level of insight into their health,” comments Brooks Tingle, President and CEO, John Hancock Insurance. “It was always our intention to expand beyond the pilot phase and we are thrilled to see this vision come to life. However, our work with GRAIL runs much deeper than just making Galleri accessible to our customers. We believe there is a critical need to expand awareness of and access to this type of groundbreaking technology. As a life insurer, we are deeply committed to helping our customers live longer, healthier, better lives and we know that preventative care and early detection are key components of that mission.”
The John Hancock Vitality Program combines life insurance with a technology-enabled program that offers education, support, incentives, and rewards designed to help and encourage customers to live healthier lives. The program covers a broad spectrum of activities—including exercise, nutrition, sleep and mindfulness—and rewards customers for the steps they take to stay healthy.
Based on the successful customer uptake during the pilot, John Hancock decided to expand access to the Galleri test, following a similar model, to all eligible John Hancock Vitality PLUS customers, while exploring other potential expansions for the future.
Every Day Counts in Detection
“Every day counts for cancer patients and their families,” says Lindsay Hanson, VP, Head of Behavioral Insurance, Global Strategy and Delivery. “Early detection, through tests like Galleri, is a way to write a different story to a cancer diagnosis. We’re proud to bring this technology to our customers.”
“The expansion of this first-of-its-kind program shows the benefits of bringing together two industries that share a common goal of improving health outcomes,” comments Bob Ragusa, CEO, GRAIL. “We are thrilled to see the success of the pilot program and look forward to continuing to work with the leadership at John Hancock as it expands its multi-cancer early detection offering, with the goal of ultimately reducing the burden of cancer and keeping cancer from claiming even more lives.”
Offering access to the Galleri test builds on existing Vitality program features that encourage customers to take part in recommended preventative care, including mammograms and other cancer screenings, annual physical exams, dental visits, and more. The John Hancock Vitality Program says it aims to constantly grow and evolve with advances in science to make cutting-edge technology and information available to customers to help them live longer, healthier, better lives.