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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.

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 their trusted agent, can help reduce anxiety and manage expectations. Eliminating unknowns can ease your client’s mind and help ensure a quicker path to an issued policy.

Collecting health data

Your life underwriter will often require a paramedical exam and additional data collection points. A paramedical examination is a personal interview with your client to collect information about their medical history. This interview may be performed over the phone, online and/or in-person at the time of their examination. The additional data points may include a Motor Vehicle Report, Attending Physician Statements (medical records) or a detailed prescription history.

The interview is a brief phone call to gather information about your client’s medical history. This can take 15-40 minutes, depending on one’s medical history (e.g. diagnoses, prescriptions). Your client can prepare for a more efficient call by compiling their prescription list, any significant health dates or surgeries and detailed contact information from their primary care provider.

The next step is typically the medical exam. The examination usually includes a recording of height, weight, blood pressure and pulse. The exam may also include the collection of blood, urine, oral fluid, and an EKG and/or X-ray, depending on the insurer’s underwriting guidelines based on a client’s age and insurance amount. If an interview was not completed, your client may be required to complete a medical history interview at the exam appointment. A checklist of do’s and don’ts can be found on our website, to help your client prepare for their exam.

When it comes to the exam appointment, we offer many options for your client’s convenience. In addition to our extensive national network of mobile examiners, we offer over 2,000 locations where the exam can be done in a medical setting. If your client is squeamish or dreading having blood drawn, you may want to encourage them to schedule a mobile exam at home where they can be most comfortable.

Additional data requirements

Although collecting Attending Physician Statements (APS or medical records) can add more time to the process, we’re here to help things go as quickly as possible. Please advise your clients that some cases may take 30-45 days (especially when a special release is required). We are implementing a special authorization tool that will allow us to collect the authorization at the time of the interview in an effort to reduce the number of days to obtain an APS. Please note that if your client has a potential diagnosis in progress, any new treatments or assessments may delay an underwriting decision as new data are created and accessed.

What happens next?

The paramedical examination and any additional requirements are forwarded to the insurance company. Any specimens obtained during the examination are sent to our laboratory or another designated laboratory and the results are forwarded to the insurance company for assessment. ExamOne professionals are not aware of the tests performed on the specimen(s) at the laboratory and do not receive the test results.

Tools to help prepare

There are many resources available from ExamOne that can help you walk through the process with your clients and prepare them for the best possible result. These include applicant brochures, a printable checklist, and short videos on our ExamOne YouTube channel. Please visit our website at MyExamOne.com to find the materials best suited for you and your clients.

If your client has health conditions or habits that may impact their insurance rating, you may be able to ease their concerns. ExamOne does not make underwriting decisions, rather we serve as an impartial third-party health data collection service. The data collected allows the insurance company to evaluate the potential risk in insuring the client. Any health information we collect is handled carefully and delivered confidentially to the insurance company. Some companies have expanded their products to include coverage for people with certain conditions, so we recommend gaining an understanding of your client’s general health before applying so you can get a head start on gathering the best product options designed to fit them.

Be sure to have a conversation with your client to help demystify the application process and help them prepare for the best possible outcome. If you have any questions or need help accessing our support resources, please contact your local ExamOne sales representative or visit our website.

Read additional articles in this series: https://blog.examone.com/learn-more-life-insurance-application/

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

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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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Modernizing the life insurance applicant experience through digital engagement

April 25, 2019 Applicants

What goes into a modern customer experience? It’s all about engaging customers in new and innovative ways. In the life insurance industry, customer experience impacts policy completion rates. Recognizing this drives our efforts and ensures that we are meeting the needs of the modern customer. Solutions that provide real-time context, convenience and visual information are […]

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Holiday shopping for life insurance? The purchasing habits for 3 generations of consumers

December 19, 2018 Applicants

In 2017, more than 174 million Americans purchased gifts between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This year, consumers spent $643 million, up nearly 28% from last year, on cyberspending the Friday after Thanksgiving.  Millions more will be spent before the end of the year. Shopping has become synonymous with the holidays for consumers of all ages. […]

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Glycolysis and hemolysis: Does it still matter to life insurers?

November 1, 2018 Carriers

We all know the routine. The examiner draws blood during a mobile exam. Delays in processing allow those hungry red blood cells to gobble up glucose. The underwriter sees an extremely low glucose reading or the dreaded not valid glucose (NVG) on the laboratory report. Or the laboratory report notes hemolysis is present. Then there […]

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