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The Welfare State as Piggy BankInformation, Risk, Uncertainty, and the Role of the State$
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Nicholas Barr

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780199246595

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199246599.001.0001

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Twenty‐First‐Century Insurance Issues

Twenty‐First‐Century Insurance Issues

(p.72) Chapter 5 Twenty‐First‐Century Insurance Issues
The Welfare State as Piggy Bank

Nicholas Barr (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses two issues that will assume increasing salience: the impact of genetic screening on insurance markets and problems of long‐term‐care insurance. Genetic screening affects the viability of insurance in at least two ways: by turning risk into near‐ certainty it creates a rapidly growing group of uninsurable conditions; it also has a major bearing on the ability of individuals to obtain cover. Neither problem is new, but genetic screening greatly increases the number of people affected. Solutions will require considerable regulation of private insurers. With long‐term care, a central problem is the degree of uncertainty over a long time horizon about the probability that a person will need long‐term care. One approach to a solution is social insurance.

Keywords:   genetic screening, insurance markets, long‐term care, regulation, social insurance, uncertainty, uninsurable conditions

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