Doctor and patient in hospital
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A letter from Marc Giguere:

Two years on, making impressive inroads in early cancer detection for life insurance policyholders

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    July 2024

    Two years ago, we embarked on a journey with GRAIL to promote early cancer detection in the U.S. life insurance industry. We were convinced that GRAIL’s Galleri® multi-cancer early-detection test could advance our vision of helping life insurance policyholders live longer, healthier lives. During this time, Munich Re Life US and GRAIL have worked collaboratively to educate the life insurance industry on the science and benefit of multi-cancer early detection and enable carriers and distributors to offer tests to their eligible policyholders as a value-added service.

    I’m happy to share that results to date have outpaced expectations. We’re currently active with 11 carriers and two distribution partners on live programs or pilots to offer the Galleri test on a post-issue basis to eligible individual or group policyholders. Carrier and distribution partners have reached more than 100,000 policyholders about multi-cancer early detection, more than 7,000 tests have been completed, and we know of over 50 cases where cancer was detected. Seventy-three percent of these positive signals, at an average patient age of 60, were for cancers with no current screening available today.

    The test is potentially lifesaving. Just look at the case of Rich, whose cancer was detected many months before symptoms would likely have developed thanks to his advisor’s suggestion that he take Galleri’s simple blood draw test. Advisors play a key role in engaging with policyholders about the tests, and they value the opportunity to have such meaningful discussions with policyholders. As Rich’s advisor states in the video, “To have that kind of impact on someone’s life is amazing,” and I agree. This is a result the industry can be proud of and can expect to see more of as our Galleri test programs and pilots gain momentum.

    The offering has changed how some carriers and distributors interact with their customers, and we are seeing an exciting trend of some companies building holistic health and wellness strategies to help policyholders live healthier lives. Our partners have received strong endorsements from policyholders and agents regarding their offerings, and have shared positive feedback:

    Product innovation is difficult and incremental in the life insurance industry. The ability to offer a client or policyholder an opportunity to take a test that has the ability to identify over 50 types of cancer at early stages can actually be life-changing, if not life-saving! We actually experienced this at LIBRA when we introduced Grail to our organization. We provided the test to 70 of our agency principal partners, and one came back with a cancer marker. We later found out that they had no symptoms, and this early diagnosis made a huge difference in the treatment and prognosis. The companies and advisors willing to embrace Grail understand that this is real innovation, real differentiation, and real added value.
    Bill J. Shelow, Jr
    President and CEO
    LIBRA Insurance Partners
    As a mutual company, we have a unique relationship with our policyowners as they are at the center of every decision we make. Being able to deliver a program that can help our policyowners gain access to tools, technology and insights that can help them live longer, healthier lives is good for our policyowners and good for MassMutual – and is a great way for us to not only help people secure their future and protect the ones they love, but also support their overall quality and length of life.
    Sears Merritt
    Head of Enterprise Technology and Experience
    Today nearly 80% of cancer-related deaths are from cancers for which there are no routine screenings, and with the United States expected to surpass 2 million new cases of cancer for the first time ever this year, it’s critical that we embrace the resources available to us now. Adoption cannot fall to the healthcare system alone. I believe the private sector can and should help people live longer, healthier, better lives. It has the potential to yield cost savings and better health outcomes far beyond any single company. At John Hancock, we’ve now had many customers who have learned that they have cancer by virtue of taking this test, offered through their John Hancock Vitality policy. So, when you think about that as a life insurer, it’s great for the customer, which we deeply value, but also good for society as a whole and for our business.
    Brooks Tingle
    President and CEO
    John Hancock

    GRAIL has continued its impressive growth and is making inroads into the life insurance, health system, clinic, and employer channels and furthering its work to demonstrate Galleri’s efficacy. Early results from clinical trials in the U.S. and the U.K. support the Galleri test’s ability in real-world settings to detect a cancer signal across multiple cancer types, including stage I and II cancers. Galleri can detect more than 50 types of cancer, at least 45 of which currently lack individual screening tests. This means Galleri can potentially transform the future of cancer detection, leading to early intervention and potentially improved outcomes. With cancer as the leading cause of death in the U.S. life-insured population, the impact could be significant. 

    It’s been a rewarding two years for Munich Re and the companies that have joined us. For those of you who aren’t yet involved, we invite you to join our industry’s fight against cancer and explore how your organization can play a deeper role in policyholder lives. By paving the way for innovations like the Galleri test, we broaden the value that life insurance offers and support policyholders when we can make the greatest impact. We remain committed to this vision and ready to help advance it.