(higi station in a retail setting. Source: Chain Drug Review.)
Force Diagnostics (Bannockburn, Ill.), a provider of diagnostic tests, and higi (Chicago), a community health engagement platform vendor, have announced that they are joining forces toward helping help life insurance companies make more accurate underwriting decisions in a fraction of the time that it generally takes today, while offering timely, competitively priced and high-value life insurance policies to consumers without requiring inconvenient and time-consuming health screenings.
The vendors’ offering combines Force Diagnostics’ rapid testing (A1C, Cotinine and HIV) and higi’s biometric and lifestyle data readings (blood pressure, weight, pulse, BMI, and activity data) available at local retailers nationwide, enabling insurers and consumers to benefit from an expedited exam process that can be completed during a quick visit to their local retail pharmacy, according to a joint statement. The solution enables insurers to respond with an actionable quote, often within 24 hours and also allows insurers to reward their consumers for healthy behaviors, the vendors say.
“For years, insurers have looked for ways to simplify the life insurance underwriting process with varying results,” comments Michael P. Curran, president and CEO, Force Diagnostics. “Their challenge has been to attract desirable risks, at any age, with an innovative, efficient process that results in a fair price for life insurance that is neither undervalued nor overpriced. Through this partnership, Force and higi can provide insurers and reinsurers with ongoing biometric and lifestyle data for consumers who are interested in improving their physical health as well as their financial health.”
Force Diagnostics says its FDA-cleared and CLIA-waived rapid tests detect the presence of chronic disease states and the use of nicotine and drugs of abuse. The tests do not require fasting and are procured with a finger stick of blood and a nominal oral swab.
higi brings to the solution its community health engagement platform with web, mobile and health stations in nearly 10,000 retail locations across the United States. With 75 percent of the U.S. population living within five miles of a higi station and with more than 1 million tests completed at higi stations each week, higi provides consumers with a free, fast, easy and reliable way to monitor their vital health stats over time and, when they opt-in, share with those they trust, the joint statement reports. To stay engaged with consumers and improve the persistency of their portfolio, life insurance companies can utilize higi’s rewards and incentives platform to encourage consumers to track and, when they opt-in, share their biometric and lifestyle data.
“higi was created to close the gaps in population health by creating ‘win/win’ insights for consumers and healthcare organizations,” comments Jeff Bennett, CEO, higi. “We’re empowering consumers to know their health stats, which has led to improved health outcomes for millions of higi users across the country. higi works with a broad range of industries to create efficiencies in healthcare through increased engagement with consumers and groundbreaking longitudinal analysis of real-time biometric and activity data collected across the country at home, in retail, and at hospitals and clinics.”
While the vendors’ current focus is on improving access and speed to issuance for life insurance, they plan to engage retailers and employers by providing similar solutions to partners serving the corporate wellness and health insurance sectors.
“We are excited about partnering with higi,” Curran adds. “By providing access to real-time biometric and activity data, consumers become active participants in their own health, leading to healthier individuals—a true benefit for insurers and reinsurers. The strength of this partnership will result in no less than a revolution in the life insurance industry.”