Right now your health insurance company has more knowledge and information about your likelihood of getting cancer or suffering a heart attack than you do. They’ve been keeping track of things for a long time, matching health outcomes with demographics.

Now imagine if you had better information then they do. Imagine if you knew your genetic disposition to heart attack or cancer, and they didn’t. A woman with BRCA1 or BRCA2 would sign up for top-of-the-line insurance coverage. The result, says the Washington Post, is

an “adverse-selection death spiral,” as the healthy opt out of expensive insurance, the sick opt into it, and premiums spin out of control.

The consequences of the $1,000 sequence extend far beyond what you know about yourself. What you, and millions of others, do with the information will affect the insurance industry, healthcare delivery, education and politics.

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