The rise in workforce drug positivity may be a concern among the life insurance population

by Lindsey Amaya on June 22, 2018

2018 Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index™

The 2018 Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index™ (DTI) has been released and workforce drug positivity remained at the highest rate we’ve seen in a decade. The positivity rate held steady at 4.2 percent which was the same in 2016. One of the biggest shifts in drug positivity was seen in the cocaine and amphetamine classes. Positivity rates for each of these drugs skyrocketed in some areas of the country. The overall positivity for cocaine increased seven percent from 2016. As these positivity rates rise, what is the prevalence of life insurance drug abuse positivity rates?

An increase in drug positivity also prevalent in life insurance population

Our data analytic experts have done their own analysis on life insurance drug abuse positivity and they aren’t far off from the workforce positivity rates. Cocaine, which had a 0.30 positivity rate among the American workforce in 2017, had a 0.18 positivity rate within the life insurance population. Further, amphetamines which had a 1.10 positivity rate in the workforce similarly showed a 1.02 positivity rate in the life insurance subset.

Additionally, as we see marijuana being legalized in more and more states, positivity rates are rising. Marijuana positivity for the workforce was 2.10, but in life insurance it nearly doubled to 4.10.

life insurance drug abuse positivity

Understanding the prevalence of drug positivity among the American workforce should be an eye opener for insurers. This epidemic is affecting people of all walks of life, including those who work, who have families and who apply for life insurance. Take a look at this interactive map to see where some of the highest overall drug positivity is, as well as by individual drug class.

Misuse of these drugs can cause premature death and can cost insurance companies a significant amount of money, if it goes undetected during the underwriting process. If you would like to learn more about adding a drug panel to your laboratory requirements, please contact your Strategic Account Executive, or call us at 913.859.6992.

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