paramedical exam

In the fall of 2018, ExamOne launched our expanded exam center network by adding hundreds of Quest Diagnostics® Patient Service Centers (PSC) to our life insurance exam network. This year we’re adding even more Quest locations to provide convenient options for life insurance applicants across the country. With access to more than 2,000 exam center locations, life insurance applicants have the convenience of choice not found anywhere else in the industry.

Exam centers deliver higher completion rates and faster turnaround times

Based on an analysis of exams completed between January 1 and August 31, 2019, those completed in-center (at an ExamOne office or Quest PSC) showed the highest completion rates and fastest turnaround times. Exams scheduled at an exam center were, on average, completed 90% of the time, compared to 73% for mobile exams. Additionally, exams were completed in less than 11 days at in-center locations, compared to over 12 days for mobile.

In-center exams compared to mobile exams

Analysis by generation

In-center exams show the highest completion rates across all generations, with 90% of scheduled in-center exams being completed among millennials and Gen Xers, compared to completion rates for mobile exams at 77% and 74%, respectively. The greatest difference in completion rates appears in the older age groups. This could be attributed to a greater sense of comfort in visiting a medical office if individuals in the two older generations visit PSCs regularly for other age-related health screenings.

Completion rates by generation

Exam center options deliver faster turnaround times for all generations in comparison to mobile, but we see the fastest results in the two oldest generations, with just 7.2 days for the silent generation. It is possible this is related to the applicant’s daily schedule when considering that many in this generation are likely retired or working part-time, while baby boomers are moving closer to that stage of life as well.

Turnaround times by generation

Interestingly, there was little to no difference in both completion rates and turnaround time when comparing gender within these generations.

Analysis by face amount

Completion rates and turnaround times also vary across face amounts. For reference, in 2018 the average face amount of policies for which exams were completed by ExamOne was $500,279, while the median was $250,000. Again, we see exam centers consistently deliver higher completion rates in comparison to mobile exams.

Completion rates by face amount

Turnaround times for exam centers are generally more than one day faster than mobile. Additionally, higher value policies are correlated with the fastest turnaround times, as face amounts over $1 million average a 10.7 day turnaround.

Turnaround time by face amount

Applicants want convenient choices

Applicant choice is also an important factor to consider when it comes to the location of the exam. Between January and August 2019, nearly 6,000 life insurance applicants completed ExamOne’s applicant satisfaction survey after their exam at an ExamOne or Quest office. Of those, 48% said they chose the in-center location because it was the most convenient place for them. Others indicated the in-center locations offered the best appointment time for their schedule (19%), or that they felt most comfortable completing the exam there (15%).

Learn more about our expanding exam center network.

When we talk about alcohol abuse and misuse, we can’t help but talk about the impact on mortality and a life insurer’s bottom line.

Traditionally, insurers have primarily relied on applicant self-admission, the MIB, motor vehicle reports (MVRs), and the occasional APS “surprise” to identify potential alcohol-related risks. But how effective are these tools?

Alcohol use by the numbers

alcohol on shelf

According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, an estimated 88,000 deaths annually are attributed to excess alcohol consumption (62,000 men/26,000 women). This is the third leading preventable cause of death, only behind tobacco and poor diet/physical inactivity. In 2015, nearly 27 percent of people ages 18+ reported they engaged in binge drinking in the past month, while seven percent engaged in heavy alcohol use. The National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependency estimates close to 15 million full-time workers are heavy drinkers. Furthermore, approximately three-quarters of the economic cost of alcohol abuse is related to binge drinking.

Underwriting the drinkers

Some insurers may wonder if traditional underwriting tools are sufficient to identify potential alcohol abusers. A cost-effective test to identify and properly price alcohol risk is the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) assay. Simply adding this to your testing profile provides blood alcohol values and an indication of your applicant’s recent alcohol intake.  

In a 2018 analysis of ExamOne applicants, alcohol screening had a positivity rate of less than one percent. This is lower than marijuana and amphetamines, but higher than cocaine, methamphetamines and morphine. A person who screens positive at the time of their exam has a blood alcohol concentration level above 10 mg/dL, and most likely would have been drinking within five hours or less of the blood draw. Given that paramedical exams are typically scheduled well in advance and are most often performed during business hours on a weekday, or early in the day on Saturday, a BAC elevation at the time of collection can be strongly suggestive of problem drinking. On a more important note for insurers, individuals who have an elevated BAC level tend to have the same mortality rate as applicants who fall in our Risk IQ 99 percentile (nearly 10X median risk).

life insurance blood alcohol concentration positivity

Next steps

Many ExamOne clients have started screening all applicants and believe that the savings in accidental death claims more than cover the cost of the testing. Depending on face amount distributions, detection of a single case declinable on the basis of BAC may provide expected mortality savings more than equal to the cost of many months of blanket testing. If you are interested in adding this test to complement or enhance your current underwriting tools, please contact your Strategic Account Manager. 

Why am I getting a blood draw to apply for life insurance?

June 28, 2019 Producers

You are in the process of applying for life insurance and have found out you need a medical exam (also referred to as a paramedical exam) that includes a blood draw.  You may be wondering what is involved and want more details on why and how it will take place. We are here to walk […]

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