Carriers

Seven facts for life insurers to know about vaping

by ExamOne on September 17, 2019

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 examples of issues surfacing that may have previously gone unrecognized, as vaping is still a fairly new phenomenon. However, there are some things we know for sure about vaping that could impact life insurers.

Here are some vaping facts from MD Anderson Cancer Center:


 1. The liquids used in vaping are dangerous. E-cigarettes have been known to explode and the fluid is poisonous if it comes into contact with eyes or skin, or if you accidentally or deliberately drink it.


2. If you’re a smoker, vaping could support your habit, not break it. Instead of transitioning from cigarettes to e-cigarettes, some smokers end up using both. This can increase nicotine addiction instead of lessening it. E-cigarettes have not received Food and Drug Administration approval as smoking cessation devices.


3. Researchers know that e-cigarette aerosol contains toxic chemicals like those found in glue and paint. What is less clear is if the amounts are high enough to cause diseases like cancer.


4. The nicotine, regardless of the source, is addictive and toxic. E-cigarettes are used as a nicotine delivery system. In fact, nicotine is one of the most addictive substances available.

Other vaping facts for insurers to consider:


5. Nicotine is proven to cause multiple health problems, some fatal. John Hopkins Medicine reiterates the danger of nicotine, no matter in what form it is ingested. It can raise blood pressure and cause spikes in adrenaline, which increases the heart rate and the likelihood of having a heart attack.


6. E-cigarettes can also be used to vaporize cannabis and THC, with unknown long-term effects. The relationship between nicotine and cotinine has been thoroughly researched and analyzed over the years. However, information on the effects of cannabinoids is not as scientifically vetted.


7. There are also potentially toxic metal nanoparticles in some e-cig devices that can be harmful. A National Institute of Drug Abuse report shows that some devices contain high levels of nickel and chromium.

Laboratory testing and vaping

Another fact that we can all agree upon is that more research is needed to determine how vaping impacts an individual’s health and the corresponding effect for life insurers. The negative health consequences from long-term tobacco use and smoking either cigarettes or cigars took decades to prove. Extensive health data for vaping does not exist yet. In the meantime, ExamOne will continue to work with our life insurance clients to help build comprehensive cotinine and THC laboratory testing solutions to address their requirements concerning vaping.

Enhancement expected to increase completion rates and reduce turnaround time

lady on desktop computer

We are excited to announce the implementation of our new data collection platform. This initiative provides life insurance applicants another option to complete their personal health history questionnaire.

Developing the platform

“As we designed this interface, we wanted it to be very intuitive and user-friendly,” said Product Manager Jason Day. “A self-guided experience needs to be simple and easy to use.”

To achieve this intuitive design, our product and engineering teams focused on the user experience by adding a dedicated UX expert to oversee every step of the development process, incorporating user acceptance testing by different stakeholder groups throughout all phases of the development cycle.

Unique, integrated tool provides seamless user experience

life insurance online interview platform

The personal history questions displayed online will be the exact same questions presented to the interviewers in the call center for your specific account. This requires you to only manage one interview script. Additionally, this allows applicants to seamlessly transition between the online and call center service without missing (or duplicating) a step.

We have integrated our doctor database with the platform to allow applicants to search a directory of more than 2.3 million physicians to quickly and easily match to their personal physician.

Insurers also have the option to customize their outreach campaigns to applicants. Now, if we receive an applicant email address with the order, applicants will receive an email asking them to complete their health history interview. This will include a unique link for them to access your script online, as well as your company-specific callback number for our call center.

Electronic signature is available upon completion of the health history questionnaire. The collected signature and all answers will map to your state-filed forms just as they do today.

Collecting user feedback

It was important for us to find users to access this platform who are not familiar with the process. We wanted to discover how the everyday person navigates through these questions. We took users from our Lenexa laboratory (who are removed from the current interview process) and from a local coffee shop to test the platform. Additionally, we had a select group of clients access this platform from an applicant standpoint.

Through this testing phase, 60 percent of users stated they would complete the interview on its due date. As a result, we recommend that a default due date be provided in the “welcome” email. This will encourage applicants to log on and complete their interview prior to the specified date in the email.

We also received feedback regarding our navigation buttons that allow users to “save,” “go back” and “continue.” Our design expert reconfigured these so that they are more intuitive for the user.

More options to improve the applicant experience

By providing one more option to the applicant to complete this step of the application process, we are making it easier for them to do this at a time and place that is convenient to them. Our goal is to help you increase your completion rates as well as exceed your applicant’s expectation.

Ask the Expert: Discover more about historical laboratory data for life insurance underwriting

July 29, 2019 Ask The Experts

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. Brian Lanzrath, our Director of Analytics and LabPiQture expert, answers some of the commonly asked questions we receive […]

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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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Exam completion rate case study

July 9, 2019 Brokers

One of the challenges facing the direct-to-consumer segment of the life insurance industry is improving completion percentage. Over the last year, we analyzed our client’s data to compare how and where applicants schedule exams, and measure the impact on completion rates. Three common factors emerged to demonstrate the effectiveness of utilizing some of ExamOne’s tools […]

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Ask the Expert: Getting the most out of your prescription history report

June 25, 2019 Ask The Experts

A prescription history (ScriptCheck®) report can provide underwriters immense detail into an applicant’s prescription drug use.* From identifying medication not disclosed in the interview to understanding prescription adherence, a prescription history report can help underwriters identify potential red flags when making underwriting decisions. Marnie Vieselmeyer, ExamOne’s new Data Specialist Strategic Account Executive, answers some common […]

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Drug testing positivity is a negative factor for employers and insurers

May 30, 2019 Carriers

Workforce drug testing positivity climbed to its highest rate since 2004, according to the latest report of the Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index™ (DTI) released this spring. According to the report, 2018 positivity rates in the combined U.S. workforce increased to 4.4% in urine tests, an increase of nearly 5%. Overall positivity is now 25% […]

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Incorporating blood tests into older-age underwriting facilitates faster policy issue and decreased costs

May 29, 2019 Carriers

According to a 2015 U.S. Census Bureau report, baby boomers are now trailing the millennial generation as the second largest generation today with an estimated 75.4 million individuals. Although the millennials outnumber this aging segment, it is in the 60+ age group where life insurance application activity is rising. Each month, underwriting specialists at the […]

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Spend more time with applicants when you order online

May 21, 2019 Brokers

The ExamOne ordering site allows you to manage all your needs in one place, whether you’re looking to create a case, place an order, or anything in between. It allows you to view the status for individual orders so you’re able to keep track of each moving piece required for completion. The ExamOne portal* is […]

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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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