Will iPhone Apps Determine Your PA, DE, MD and VA Insurance Rates?

The life insurance industry may have a new tool to help determine rates for customers: the iPhone.

As part of Apple's (AAPL, Tech30) new mobile operating system, developers can build apps that measure things like heart rate, sleep, weight and blood pressure. If users choose to do so, they can then send that information to doctors for medical advice.

Health insurers, which are barred by Obamacare from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions, can't base their decisions on this kind of information. But the situation is different for life insurers, who use medical records to make decisions about the relative risks of prospective customers.

If you've sent your doctor health information via an app, it could be among the records that face scrutiny. "If I'm an insurance company, I'd want access to everything, all the data points, so I can make an informed business decision," said Bradley Shear, a lawyer who works on digital privacy issues.

 Life insurers take all kinds of information into account as they make policy decisions: age, medical history, occupation, and whether you're a smoker, just to name a few. Whether and how health app data might figure into these decisions remains an open question. Read More