Preparing the applicant for an insurance application exam usually includes instructions similar to those given prior to a physician checkup. It’s advised the applicant follows their normal routine, takes their medications as usual and not to partake in unusual heavy physical activity just before the exam. They are also advised to fast when blood will be drawn for analysis. In the clinical arena, patients are usually told to not eat after 9 p.m. the night before a blood draw. That assumes that the patient will be at the doctor’s office early in the morning to have the blood draw. This advice has generally carried over into the risk assessment profile for the issuance of life insurance. However, the majority of insurance exams are not done early in the morning, but rather fit into a schedule that is most convenient for the applicant. Adding A1c on your life insurance panel eliminates the need for fasting, thus allows applicants to select appointments times throughout the day.

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) refers to A1c as the gold-standard or ‘powerhouse’ test in detecting diabetics. When A1c is screened across the board in an insurance panel, the need for fasting is eliminated. This is because A1c will detect those pre-diabetic and diabetic applicants. It is not affected by a recent meal like the glucose is.

This white paper evaluates the results of more than 18,000 life insurance applicants over the course of one month. It includes various fasting times of less than 8 hours to more than 8 hours. Results show that the average cholesterol and HDL cholesterol were consistent across all fasting time intervals.

Screening with A1c detects more diabetic and pre-diabetic applicants

In the first quarter of 2021, 51.8% of laboratory-confirmed diabetics failed to disclosure their condition on the lab slip.  Age-specific non-disclosure rates ranged from 70% or more in 18-30 year-olds, to ~35% in the 65+ population.  In most age groups, prediabetics outnumber diabetics.

Diabetes prevalence by age chart

By eliminating fasting, more appointment times are available to life insurance applicants

As with patients in the medical field, many life insurance applicants look for those morning exam appointments with the belief they will need to fast. When the only appointment available is at 3:00 p.m., the applicant may decide to push the exam out days until a morning appointment is available. If insurers eliminate the fasting requirement, applicants can capture the earliest appointment availability, regardless of the time of day.

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