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  • July 2017
  • 5 minutes

Taking the Pulse of Group Disability at the Society of Actuaries Health Conference

  • Jeff Schuh
  • Curt Zepeda
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In Brief
Palm trees swayed, trade winds blew… and dozens of industry experts gathered for the Society of Actuaries (SOA) Health Meeting in Hollywood, Florida, in mid-June.

Predictive Modeling for Disability Insurers

Predictive analytics is hottest topic in actuarial circles these days, but why do group insurance actuaries feel like everyone else is having all the fun?  Do only actuaries in individual insurance have all the new toys? 

Not true, says Jeff Schuh, RGA Vice President and Actuary, Group LTD and CI.  In a presentation entitled A New World for Disability Insurance: Big Data, Predictive Analytics, Data Mining and other Predictive Modeling Mumbo-Jumbo, Schuh urged group actuaries to get creative and even “steal some toys” from other disciplines.  To prove his point, he walked through a number of case studies where RGA has used predictive modeling techniques, such as generalized linear models (GLM) and classification and regression trees (CART), to refine group long term disability pricing even when data was limited. 

Schuh also illustrated the notion of “stealing toys” by describing a credit-based behavioral index that is highly predictive of individual life mortality, and how RGA has recently adapted this tool to the group life and disability environment.  The session was interactive and well received, with attendees noting that it was the "best I have seen on predictive modeling thus far" and a "great topic."

Says Schuh: “My goal was to create a sense of urgency for group life and disability actuaries.  We cannot remain on the sidelines and pretend that predictive analytics doesn’t apply to group insurance.”

Learn more about predictive modeling and RGA here.

Physician Workplace Trends in Disability and Group Life

As part of a panel, Curt Zepeda, RGA Group Re Vice President of Underwriting, took the pulse of the physician population. Rising automation, increasing productivity pressures, and an ongoing political fight over the U.S. Affordable Care Act (ACA) have introduced new uncertainties, just as industry consolidation and restructuring changes the way physicians practice medicine. The panel touched on the changing roles of physicians and how these trends could potentially impact group disability insurance programs. 

Click Physician Trends in Group Disability to review the slides. 

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Meet the Authors & Experts

Jeff Schuh

Vice President and Actuary, U.S. Group LTD and CI, U.S. Group Reinsurance

Curt Zepeda
Curt Zepeda
Senior Vice President, Marketing and Underwriting, Life, Accident and Disability, U.S. Group Reinsurance