Carriers

“Deaths of Despair,” an article recently appearing in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), should have red flags flying throughout the underwriting community. As reported in the Journal, among individuals 20-55 years of age “substance abuse, suicides, and diabetes drove a rise in premature deaths in nearly half of the U.S.” The WSJ data, originally published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), comes on the heels of data published earlier this year by the National Center for Health Statistics that reports life expectancy in the United States has declined for two consecutive years. This is the first consecutive year that life expectancy has declined in 55 years.

The Journal highlights the fact there is wide variation in where this early death trend is seen. Deaths in the population aged 20-55 increased in 21 states and declined in 29 states. Primary drivers of these early deaths include substance abuse, mental health issues, cirrhosis and diabetes.

The increase in diabetes deaths should not come as a surprise given the current obesity epidemic. Insurers have responded to this epidemic through widespread A1c screening. ExamOne is also seeing an uptick in insurer opioid screening in light of  the explosion in opioid deaths. The Journal reports deaths attributed to opioid use disorders from 1990 to 2016 increased by a whopping 343%.

Questions to consider

Will the mining of publicly available laboratory information and data analytics used in accelerated underwriting programs be able to compensate for the increased deaths noted above?

Financial and other socio-economic data may help identify applicants at a greater risk for suicide, but how will the accelerated underwriting models identify the opioid and diabetes risks?

While utilization of prescription drug databases may identify some younger diabetics, we know from extensive laboratory data that an elevated A1c is frequently the first sign of glucose intolerance or diabetes.

If you haven’t already done so, underwriting leaders need to speak with pricing actuaries on how this study impacts accelerated underwriting programs. The age group between 20 and 55 years of age represents the sweet spot for accelerated underwriting. How do companies plan to react to these data since we know that just an additional death or two in the younger age mortality cells can totally erode product profitability? Will companies using accelerated underwriting programs be able to tweak underwriting guidelines to react to these adverse mortality trends? Will they accept lower profit margins if accelerated underwriting cannot detect this upswing in younger age diabetes and opioid deaths?

The time to have these conversation is now.

 

At ExamOne we are constantly looking for ways to improve the quality of our services and give your applicants a happier exam experience. One invaluable way for us to identify customer expectations, measure satisfaction levels, and uncover specific areas for improvement to the life insurance exam experience is through survey responses received from your applicants.

The results (shown in graphic) are based on feedback provided by life insurance applicants whose exams were conducted by ExamOne, whether by a paramedical technician at the applicants’ homes or workplaces, or at an ExamOne paramedical service center.

Hear what these applicants had to say…

Online laboratory results

This is a first for me—everything was accessible and easy to understand. I appreciate the clear explanation about what each result means, because it helped me better understand what each person needs to concentrate and work on in order to live longer. Thank you. Great job!!!!”

Exam experience

“The technician was excellent – friendly, explained everything, fit me into a very busy schedule, and was very efficient. Very well done!”

“I want to add that my practitioner, who conducted the exam, was delightful and professional. I really enjoyed my time with him, as he was personable, and he meticulously described the process. He was efficient and courteous. You just don’t find great service like this anymore, so I applaud your company for hiring seasoned professionals who know how to effectively get the job done, yet be a joy in the process.”

2017 Mystery Shopper Results

In addition to our post-exam survey for applicants, ExamOne utilizes a third-party mystery-shopper program to measure the applicant experience. In 2017, ExamOne scored 90% satisfaction on the interaction with the examiner. An overall satisfaction score of 90% was achieved from a compilation of scores and feedback on scheduling, examiner arrival and greeting, the exam itself, and examiner interaction.

These quality measures are used to help develop and enhance examiner training and workflows, allowing us to continually improve the applicant experience.

If you would like more information about these results, contact your Strategic Account Representative.

Thanks for the memories

January 11, 2018 Carriers

There’s something about turning over the calendar page that makes us want to reflect. As we look ahead to an exciting 2018, it’s also a great time to look back on the journey we’ve taken with you — our clients — last year. Watch a special “Thank You” to our partners who are dedicated to […]

Read the full article →

Three ways we put people first during the exam

January 2, 2018 Carriers

ExamOne is committed to developing solutions that not only assist our clients and partners in meeting their business goals, but also enable individuals to become better informed about their health and empower them to lead the lives they want to live. That’s why we take great care in fine-tuning our exam experience so it is […]

Read the full article →

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

December 21, 2017 Applicants

More than 174 million Americans purchased gifts between Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year — and millions more will before the end of the year. Shopping has become synonymous with the holidays for consumers of all ages. From older buyers being loyal to their favorite brands, to younger people doing extensive research online, seasonal […]

Read the full article →

Give the gift of life insurance this holiday season

December 7, 2017 Carriers

From Hatchimals to drones to the iPhone X, these are some of the hottest items appearing on holiday lists this year. However, how long until these items break or are replaced by a newer, cooler item? This season, consider wrapping up a gift that doesn’t go out of style – life insurance. It may not […]

Read the full article →

7 facts to know about opioid use

December 1, 2017 Carriers

Earlier this year we announced an expanded opioid panel for life insurers. This comes at a time where the American workforce is showing the highest positivity rate for illicit drugs in the past 12 years. This epidemic affects people of all ages, race, gender, incomes and educational backgrounds. These are the same individuals who could […]

Read the full article →

Are you seeing these 6 trends changing the life insurance risk landscape?

November 30, 2017 Carriers

Over the past decade there have been significant changes to the health risks Americans are facing. While the causes and potential solutions to these health issues are being debated, the rising number of Americans living with diabetes, hepatitis C and the consequences of the opioid epidemic continue to impact our country. We also hear too […]

Read the full article →

Industry survey insights: The impact of tobacco, alcohol, and drug use on anti-selection

November 2, 2017 Carriers

A recently commissioned study by Hank George, Inc. surveyed 110 direct-writing U.S. and Canadian life insurance carriers on fully underwritten businesses. The survey covered a variety of tobacco, alcohol, and drug use topics*. ExamOne asked consultant and former risk management director at Allstate Financial, Eric Hjerpe, to outline and expand upon some of the findings […]

Read the full article →

Health Literacy Month: Empowering life insurance applicants with online laboratory results

October 11, 2017 Carriers

October is Health Literacy Month, which promotes the importance of individuals understanding information about their health. According to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy, nearly 90% of adults lack the health literacy skills needed to manage and prevent disease. Additionally, studies have found that limited health literacy skills correlate with poor health outcomes, including higher hospitalization rates […]

Read the full article →