Life insurer John Hancock will begin offering thousands of customers access to cancer blood tests made by Illumina Inc.’s Grail unit, betting that early detection of the disease will help them live longer.

About 10,000 eligible customers will receive full or half subsidies for $949 Galleri tests made by Grail, according to John Hancock, a division of Manulife Financial Corp. The tests detect DNA from tumors in the bloodstream, with the goal of finding cancer when it’s still in its most treatable stages. John Hancock is the first life insurance carrier to offer them, according to a spokesperson for Grail.

The benefits of the tests, often called liquid biopsies, in the general population remain unproven. While the company will offer to pay for them mainly for customers over 50, it won’t incentivize them to use the service, according to Brooks Tingle, John Hancock’s chief executive officer. Earlier diagnosis is known to lead to better outcomes, and Grail’s tests will be part of the insurer’s efforts to “help our customers while they’re alive live a longer, healthier, better life,” he said.

John Hancock won’t be involved in the testing process and won’t know the results, Tingle said.

The tests don’t have US Food and Drug Administration approval but can be used by doctors as laboratory-developed tests that don’t require the agency’s clearance. Multiple studies are still assessing the real-world impact of tens of thousands of the tests amid concerns they could lead to unnecessary treatment.

In Grail’s analysis of the results of more than 38,000 tests used in a real-world setting, about 1.1% reported a cancer signal. At the time of the report, 108 cancers were confirmed among those with the signal.

Genomics giant Illumina announced plans to buy Grail in 2020 for $8 billion and has been battling with regulators over the purchase, which it completed last year, ever since. Grail is already partnering with several health systems, including the Department of Veterans Affairs and Intermountain Healthcare.

“We are not going to be pushing our customers or requiring in any way for them to do it,” Tingle said. Instead, the company is “providing the option to take advantage of it should they want to.”

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.