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Historical laboratory data is of unique importance to insurers because it provides a retrospective view of an applicant’s health. Insights from our LabPiQture report can help insurers build a longitudinal history of an individual’s last seven years.

historical laboratory data

Brian Lanzrath, our Director of Analytics and LabPiQture expert, answers some of the commonly asked questions we receive from our clients. 

Interpreting the number of encounters and hit rates in our data

Q. How far back does your database pull results?
Our database pulls up to seven years of historical laboratory data, and we are continually working to expand our data sources. Recently, we incorporated LabCorp data into our LabPiQture results.

Q. How many encounters are detected through LabPiQture?  
It’s important to remember that not all life insurance applicants have had a clinical testing encounter within the FCRA-mandated seven-year lookback period. By our best estimates, 75%-85% of the all-ages life insurance population has had an encounter in the past seven years.

More specifically, we estimate that only around 40% of males 18-29 have had laboratory testing performed in the past seven years. However, this increases to ~60% for ages 30-39, ~70% for ages 40-49, ~77% for ages 50-59 and up to 84% for ages 60+.

Our studies also show that close to 90% of women across all age groups have had laboratory testing performed in the past seven years.

Of course, not all encounters are captured in our product as it exists today. Conditional on a laboratory test having been performed in the last seven years, there is roughly a 60-70% chance that it will be present in our data.

Q. What is the current LabPiQture hit rate?
The all-ages raw hit rate is 53%. The residual 47% includes both applicants who have not been tested clinically within the previous seven years, and tested individuals who are not present in our data. Hit rates are positively correlated with age and female gender, with men under 30 exhibiting by far the lowest rates. There are individual regions (including D.C., New Jersey, Arizona, and Connecticut) where our hit rates exceed 70%.

Top diagnoses and doctor account specialties

Q. What are the most common diagnoses reported through LabPiQture?
The table below shows the top ICD-10 codes and the percentage of applicants that had this ICD code in their LabPiQture report. As users gain experience with the ICD system, and the subset of medical conditions most often diagnosed/managed though laboratory testing, more nuanced interpretations of the broad categories below tend to become routine.

For instance, Z01 hypothetically includes any specialist checkup – anything from a dental cleaning, to a vision exam, to a hearing test. In practice, though, few of these encounters prompt laboratory testing. OBGYN checkups, by contrast, routinely generate tissue pathology data in the form of Pap smears – and indeed, 90% of LabPiQture Z01 codes are associated with Pap and HPV results. Z11 (“Encounter for screening for infectious/parasitic diseases”) is similarly broad in principle and would historically have been associated with conditions as wide-ranging as tuberculosis and hookworm. In practice, though, for modern populations this almost always indicates STD (including HIV and HCV) testing.

You can find a list of the top five diagnoses codes among females and males here.

Q. What are some the leading account doctor specialties?
Below is a list of our top 25 specialties. Drug rehab (#10) is of particular note. As recently as five years ago, this specialty was not in the top 25. In fact, it was only barely in the top 50. The greater prominence of this specialty reflects both the demand-side effects of the opioid epidemic, supply-side changes in mandates for health plans to cover many forms of drug treatment.

Learn more about LabPiQture and how you can leverage it in your underwriting process

For more information on LabPiQture and the data included in this report, you can access a link to our previously recorded webinar.

heart disease risks

The heart is a tiny but powerful organ whose work is indispensable to the rest of the body. This 1-pound organ pumps nearly 2,000 gallons of blood every day. This Heart Month, we examine three contributing factors insurers can consider when reviewing a life insurance applicant’s laboratory and medical history.

Smoking contributes to one-third of coronary heart disease deaths

Smoking has multiple health risk factors. In addition to lung and throat cancer, smoking can also lead to coronary heart disease, stroke and/or raised blood pressure. According to American Heart Association, smokers have a higher mortality risk than non-smokers and on average, die more than 10 years earlier than nonsmokers.

In a recent analysis, we discovered that 6.5% of all ExamOne life insurance applicants tested positive for cotinine from 2017 to 2019. Further, we saw a 36.4% non-disclosure rate–meaning cotinine-positive applicants denied their tobacco use, something we refer to as ‘smoker’s amnesia.’ We also found that smokers had an increased risk of positivity for other drugs of abuse:

High blood pressure increases the risk for heart disease and stroke.

It is estimated that tens of millions of adults in the United States have high blood pressure, and most do not have it under control. It can lead to heart disease and stroke, two leading causes of death for Americans.

Our examiners are trained to take three blood pressure readings during the paramedical exam. Per Mayo Clinic recommendations, documenting a blood pressure reading multiple times helps verify accuracy. Additionally, if an applicant is or has been prescribed a blood pressure medication, results will be found in a prescription history report (up to seven years look-back). This provides insurers with information including the prescribing doctor, prescription adherence, a drug summary and prescription detail.

An elevated A1c could indicate an applicant is prediabetic or diabetic.  

It’s estimated that in 2018, 34.1 million adults aged 18 years or older—or 13.0% of all US adults—had diabetes and over 21% were unaware. Many times, applicants may be unaware they have this condition because they have not been tested and/or diagnosed. In fact, 34% of applicants with tested A1c values of 6.5 or higher stated they did not have diabetes during their telephone interview or on their application. The CDC also states that the risk of death from heart disease for adults with diabetes is higher than for adults who do not have diabetes.

The heart is a vital organ. By keeping it healthy, individuals reduce the likelihood of developing a chronic medical condition(s) later in life. Insurers can use real-time health data and laboratory results during the risk assessment process to better understand potential health risks for their life insurance applicants.

How do life insurance applicants feel about the exam process?

February 7, 2020 Applicants

You want to know. We want to know. What do your life insurance applicants think about the exam portion of the application process? After every exam, applicants have the opportunity to tell us by completing our online survey. This is what they had to say. Convenient exam locations In 2019, almost 40,000 life insurance applicants […]

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‘Tis the season to protect families with life insurance

December 18, 2019 Applicants

The busy holidays may not seem like the most convenient time to apply for life insurance. However, the time spent with family and friends is a perfect reminder of the importance of protecting their futures with life insurance. Here are three reasons the holiday season may be the perfect time for your prospective client to […]

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Demystifying the life insurance medical requirement process: How you can help your clients prepare

December 11, 2019 Brokers

You trust us to handle this important step in your client’s journey to protecting their family, but how are the health data for life insurance policy collected? It’s likely that if you’re not sure of some of this terminology, neither are your clients. We’ve found that key information about the process shared by you, as […]

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Celebrating Life Insurance Awareness Month: Four ways ExamOne showed our support

October 15, 2019 #Committed2 You

In September our industry celebrated Life Insurance Awareness Month (LIAM). We hope you joined us in spreading the word about the financial importance of life insurance. Here are a few ways ExamOne celebrated LIAM in 2019. Increasing awareness Throughout September, our teams focused on increasing awareness on the importance of life insurance. We offered educational videos and materials that agents […]

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Seven facts for life insurers to know about vaping

September 17, 2019 Carriers

Is vaping impacting an individual’s health and the corresponding effect on life insurance? Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced their investigation of severe pulmonary disease among people who use e-cigarettes (also known as vaping). And tragically, multiple deaths linked to vaping have been reported across the country. These are a few […]

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Laboratory insights on male life insurance applicants reveal high diabetes and hypertension rates

July 15, 2019 Carriers

Last month we discussed five of the most common diagnoses codes among female life insurance applicants. Now, we are shifting that focus to male applicants and taking a look at their top five diagnoses revealed through LabPiQture™, as well as some of their surprising non-disclosure results discovered through laboratory testing. Top five diagnoses codes among […]

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Five common diagnoses found in female life insurance applicants’ historical laboratory results

May 13, 2019 Carriers

Using laboratory testing history databases to evaluate applicant risk can provide underwriters a more complete picture of applicant health. Laboratory history data provides quick access to physician-ordered laboratory testing results, it verifies applicant self-reported medical disclosure, and it can reduce costs as a possible alternative to an Attending Physician Statement order. Recently, we presented some […]

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3 top life insurance videos: Showing you how to enhance the examination experience

April 30, 2019 Applicants

Savvy consumers research big purchases, like life insurance, online. With YouTube considered the 2nd most-used search engine, many are finding this information in video format. In addition to research, studies show that 90% of customers said videos helped them make buying decisions. Increased traffic and views of ExamOne’s video content on the ExamOne YouTube page […]

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